New Jersey Lawmakers Pass Bill That Bans Hair Discrimination

As a team of racial discrimination attorneys for residents in Camden County and beyond, The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks PC understands the importance of fighting against discrimination in the workplace, at school, or in places of business. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks PC were particularly interested in a New Jersey bill that state lawmakers passed mid-December, banning discrimination based on the style or texture of a person’s hair in New Jersey.


This legislation was introduced last summer after Andrew Johnson, a high school wrestler in New Jersey, was forced by a referee to either forfeit his match or cut his dreadlocks before he could compete. The referee told Johnson that his hair and his hair cover violated wrestling rules. The CROWN Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on hair, the same way that it is unlawful to discriminate based on someone’s gender, sexual orientation, or nationality.

New Jersey’s Laws Against Discrimination (LAD) would be amended to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles,” including twists or braids.

Amol Sinha, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey had the following to say regarding discriminatory actions based on hair —” While natural hair might seem like an irrelevant front in the never-ending battle against discrimination, we know that hair discrimination is too often used as a proxy for racism in ways that directly impact the success of people of color in schools, courtrooms, and board rooms.”

Potential Violations

A few examples that would violate The CROWN act include:

  • An employer disadvantaging an employee by refusing a promotion or a salary raise solely based on their dreadlocks.
  • A school administrator applying a hair-length policy to only black students or students with braids, while not applying the same policy to white students with long hair.
  • A restaurant refusing entry to a patron that has braids that are not considered in line with the establishment’s dress code.

If you require a racial discrimination attorney near Gloucester County or any of the surrounding areas, contact The Law Offices of Morgan Rooks, PC today.

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