HR Hot Topics – July, 2023: Understanding the CROWN Act

And welcome to the July edition of HR Hot Topics. I’m your host, Jodi Schafer. So today will be a rather short one because I’m on vacation, but I did want to let you all know about a recent expansion to the Elliot Larson Civil Rights Act. That is the State Civil Rights Act here in Michigan, and it mirrors pretty closely the Federal Civil Rights Act that we’ve all been following since 1964. Now, if it sounds familiar that I’m talking about Elliot Larson again, that’s because three or four months ago perhaps, there was another expansion that expanded the definition of sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation. And that was following kind of the federal lead on that. And most recently, as of June 15th, we have expanded the definition of race in our state’s Civil Rights Act. And race now includes traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to hair, texture, and protected hairstyles.

This is known as the CROWN Act. It was introduced by Senator Sarah Anthony. And it stands for creating an open and respectful world for natural hair. And here we are, right in a beautiful place in the world with all different cultures coming together. And so we wanna make sure that in your EEO statements, in your handbooks, and if you have you know, EEO statements on your employment applications, you may wanna expand the definition of race there and just include this additional language. Again, race includes traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to hair texture and protective hair styles. Now that including but not limited to piece may come into play in the coming months and years. There are other things that might be historically associated with race other than hair that might fall under this, but it’s, it’s less clear than the hair piece.

And so as with all things, the courts will decide how that is to be interpreted. So we’ll watch and see. I think there will probably be some movement on that, like I said, in the coming years. But for now I just wanted to make sure you all knew about the CROWN Act. And as always, I include some very helpful links in these email messages. So, down below I’ve got several to help you better understand what was referred to as Senate Bill 90. But again, this was signed into law on June 15th. And with that, I will leave you. I’m off to explore a little bit more of Florence today and spend some time with my family. I did include some pictures of our trip thus far. If you’re interested at all, and you’re not following me on Facebook, you’ll be able to see a few of the highlights so far. I’ll put those at the end of the message. And until then, ciao.

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