CROWN Law Facts Louisiana Businesses Need To Know

Hair discrimination has long been a topic of discussion not only in beauty salons and barber shops, but around kitchen tables too. Now it's a topic of discussion in education and small business law thanks to school and workplace discrimination. While folx have been ostracized for years over their hair choices, it took until 2022 for the Louisiana Legislature to step in. With the Louisiana CROWN Act, Louisiana hair discrimination is now illegal.

The CROWN Act, short for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair", went into effect in Louisiana August 2022 to combat an alarming rise in hair discrimination. It follows a similar December 2020 New Orleans Act by Mayor Cantrell. This blog breaks down what hair discrimination is, what the CROWN Act says, and what it means for your Louisiana business.

(Yall know that photo of me and Tubbs was in a parked car; safety first, yall!)

Hair Discrimination Explained

The Louisiana CROWN Act expressly forbids Louisiana schools and businesses from discriminating against someone's hair whether it's their texture or style. You may have heard of this referred to as "hair discrimination".

Think back to your school days--- how many times did a teacher put a ruler to your scalp to measure the length of your hair? Or call your parent to pick you up because the hair style or hair texture, even if natural, was not "up to the school's code". Now think about work place hair standards as you got older. Hair discrimination in Louisiana employment law starts before you're even hired; you could be discriminated against before you even have an interview based on your hair style or hair texture. You probably have a lot of memories surfacing, but especially if you are a person of color.

Thanks to an extensive research study by Dove (yes the soap and shampoo company), we now have extensive, peer reviewed studies and research on hair discrimination.

Below are some take aways of their landmark 2019 hair discrimination study, specifically for black women:

  • Eighty percent (80%)were more likely to revoke their natural hair texture and style at work in order to fit in
  • They were three and a half (3.5) percent more likely to be called "unprofessional" due to their hair style or hair texture alone
  • A workplace appearance policy was thirty percent (30%) more likely to be explicitly shown to them over their coworkers
  • These women are one and a half (1.5) times more likely to be sent home from work or school due to their hair
  • Eighty three percent (83%) reported they were judged harsher on their appearance and hair than others at work

Hair discrimination affects children too. Dove also conducted research for K-12 females in their study. Some highlights include the following:

  • Ninety percent (90%) of black children stated that their natural hair is beautiful
  • Yet of those children in white majority schools, eighty one percent (81%) of the girls wanted their hair straight
  • Sixty six percent (66%) of black children in those white majority schools had an encounter with "race based hair discrimination"
  • Those that encountered the race-based hair discrimination? Eighty six percent (86%) happened by 12 years old
Dove conducted a study in 2021 which was used as a resource for CROWN Act law passage. Photo accessed 07/12/2023 and is copyright of Dove. Original link: JOY_DOVE_CROWN_AEA5infograhic_FINAL_1.25.png (

Louisiana CROWN Act

Want to read the whole House Bill turned law yourself? Head on over to and look for HB 1083.

If you prefer to not fall asleep at your desk, here are the highlights for schools (La. R.S. § 17:111) and the workplace (La. R.S. § 23:332):

  • Intentional employment discrimination in Louisiana now includes any discriminatory practice due to "natural, protective, or cultural hairstyle."
  • This includes discrimination through pay, privileges, conditions, or terms
  • If you work for a public school, you cannot deny entry or discriminate based on the hairstyles either

Hairstyles That Are Protected

Afros, dreadlocks, twists, locs, braids, cornrow braids, Bantu knots, curls, and hair styled to protect hair texture or for cultural significance are all protected under the CROWN Act. This includes hairstyle, color, or manner in wearing hair to reduce damage or manipulation of the natural hair.

This law extends to all races so long as there is a cultural significance. This may include a Kenyan's masai, long horn hairstyle for Maio women, or indigenous people hairstyles like the mohawk or long braids.

Hairstyles That Are Not Protected

The new law does not prevent an employer from having hair style policies due to safety measures or procedures mandated under state or federal law. If a hairstyle would prevent a protective covering in a kitchen required by the Louisiana Health Department, then that law must be followed. The same goes for any law that requires a helmet in a construction zone. Should the helmet not be able to be placed on the head appropriately, then it would not be discrimination under this law for a write up or sanction by the employer.

However, this does not mean yall can just say this is the reason to skirt around the Louisiana hair discrimination law. If the hair net or helmet issue is not presented to the employee ahead of time, with reasonable time to assess or change their hair style should they wish to, then you will be out of luck. Remember judges and juries are smart and can tell when yall just want to circumvent laws to suit your bias.

Proactive Steps Louisiana Businesses Need To Make

You may think this is overwhelming, but there are a few ways you can make your life as a Slidell business owner a little easier.

  1. Know the laws. That sounds silly, but you'd be surprised how a little bit of reading (or meeting with a Slidell business lawyer) can help you figure things out quickly.
  2. Educate your HR Department and staff on the laws. Hiring a lawyer to contain a continuing education hour is another option.
  3. Review and change your Standard Operating Procedures, job applications, and job descriptions (including on external websites). Don't have any? Call a lawyer and get some. Don't download it off a website because Louisiana law is different. You're wasting your coins and if you have something in there that shouldn't be, then you're spending more cash later on defending lawsuits or discrimination judgments.
  4. Review and change your Dress Code, Grooming Policy, and employe manuals. If you don't have a manual, you may have perimeters in employee contracts that you will need to issue an addendum to.

Need Help with a Louisiana Hair Discrimination Case?

Need help getting your corporate compliance documents together or just want another set of eyes on what you already have? Maybe you think you may have a Louisiana hair discrimination case against your employer or child's school? Get started with a paid consultation with Amber & Tubbs.

You can shoot us an email at to start a conversation or text/call our assistant Brielle at 985-265-7069. We offer quick and easy online scheduling once you clear a conflicts check.

Want More Amber & Tubbs? Please Follow Us Online:
Amber's Facebook
Tubbs' Facebook (yes you read that right)
Our Instagram

Tubbs’ Instagram

Please note that this entire article, as everything else on this Sheppard Law website, is the intellectual property of Amber Sheppard and Sheppard Law. It should not be reproduced in any fashion without explicit written permission. This article was originally published July 13, 2023.