This Legal Loophole is Helping Employers Get Away with Blatant Racism

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: All U.S. States Besides California and New York
August 2022 Care2 Update: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker just signed the state's version of the CROWN Act! The new law passed unanimously, and makes Massachusetts the 18th state to protect Black people from being punished for the way they wear their hair. Please keep sharing this petition so we can make this a law in every state!

March 2022 CARE2 UPDATE:
Good news! The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the CROWN Act. The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote. We need to keep the pressure on until senators vote, to make sure we can finally protect folks in every state from discrimination based on hair! Please keep sharing the petition with people you know, so we can show lawmakers how important this issue is.

The popular job site just released findings based on its own data that show January and February are the most popular months for folks to search for a new job. The applicant market is flooded, but that's not the only thing making it hard for some to get hired. Based on a decision made by the The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it is completely legal to refuse to hire someone based solely on their hairstyle - dreadlocks, to be specific.

Sign the petition and demand that every state to pass legislation making discrimination based on hairstyle illegal!

Dreadlocks and the black identity are inextricably linked. An employer rejecting an applicant because of their dreadlocks is an act of racism, plain and simple. Even worse, they are allowed to get away with it because the language thinly veils the racism - instead of skin color, it is hair that is the issue.

Who is letting these employers get away with these disgraceful acts of prejudice and hate? The United States Court System. In 2010, Chastity Jones had a job offer terminated when she said she would not do as the employer, Catastrophe Management Solutions (CMS), asked - cut off her dreadlocks. When she filed a lawsuit against CMS claiming they violated of Title VII of the CRA, the court ruled against Jones. Then, in 2018, when the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a motion for the suit to be heard in front of the Supreme Court, the motion was denied.

This series of decisions in the court system is sending a clear message - it is okay to racially discriminate in the hiring process. For so many black folks, dreadlocks and racial identity are interwoven. To force them to choose between honoring their culture and a job is shameful.

Last year, California became the first state to pass legislation to protect folks whose hairstyles are inherently tied to their identity. The Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act (or CROWN Act) defines these hairstyles as "natural" or "protective," and places them under the umbrella of racial definition and identity. New York followed suit and signed a comparable bill into law the same year. These are wonderful first steps, but we cannot rest until every other state has passed a similar law!

Please sign the petition today - the other 48 states must follow California and New York's example and pass their own version of these anti-discrimination laws!
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