On December 31, 2019 democratic State Senator, Oletha Faust-Goudeau pre-filed Senate Bill 250 (SB 250), the Kansas bill amending the definition of race in state law to cover “hair texture and protective hairstyles.”
The legislation will ensure protection against discrimination in the workplace based on hairstyles, such as locs, braids and twists by prohibiting employers from enforcing purportedly “race neutral” grooming policies that disproportionately impact Black people.
Hair Discrimination in Kansas
There are highly publicized cases of discrimination based on hairstyles in the work place and schools. Tyree Bayan, a student seeking employment in Kansas City said he was denied a job because of his locs, despite being described by management as "a 100 percent qualified candidate." Under current Kansas statute, this type of discrimination is legal. Unfortunately cases like these are not rare and under current state law, this form of discrimination is legal.
The CROWN Act
SB 250 mirrors legislative measures passed in California, New York and New Jersey called the “Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair,”or (CROWN) Act. Kansas will be one of the first states in the Midwest to introduce the legislation.
Shirley’s KC will work to build a coalition of supporting organizations and individuals to advocate for protections that SB 250 will bring to Black people across the state. We need you and your organization to stand with us as we fight to protect against discrimination.
I will #ProtectTheCrown
Please take a moment to fill out the information below to join the effort to pass SB 250.