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Tennessee Bans Hairstyle Discrimination

Effective July 1, 2022, the Tennessee CROWN Act defines race and protective hairstyle for purposes of prohibiting employers from adopting policies that do not permit employees to wear their hair in braids, locs, twists or another manner that is a culturally or physically associated with the employee’s ethnic group.

Certain exceptions apply for public safety employees and policies adopted for reasonable safety reasons or to comply with health or safety laws and regulations.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review and update their existing equal employment opportunity and non-harassment/non-discrimination policies to include updated language regarding the term race. In addition, employers should review and update their existing dress code and/or grooming policies to remove reference to any prohibition on hairstyles.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.