Text: S.3167 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/08/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[S. 3167 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3167

To prohibit discrimination based on an individual's texture or style of 
                                 hair.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 8, 2020

 Mr. Booker (for himself and Mr. Brown) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To prohibit discrimination based on an individual's texture or style of 
                                 hair.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Creating a Respectful and Open World 
for Natural Hair Act of 2019'' or the ``CROWN Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS; PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) Throughout United States history, society has used (in 
        conjunction with skin color) hair texture and hairstyle to 
        classify individuals on the basis of race.
            (2) Like one's skin color, one's hair has served as a basis 
        of race and national origin discrimination.
            (3) Racial and national origin discrimination can and do 
        occur because of longstanding racial and national origin biases 
        and stereotypes associated with hair texture and style.
            (4) For example, routinely, people of African descent are 
        deprived of educational and employment opportunities because 
        they are adorned with natural or protective hairstyles in which 
        hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, or worn in locs, 
        cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros.
            (5) Racial and national origin discrimination is reflected 
        in school and workplace policies and practices that bar natural 
        or protective hairstyles commonly worn by people of African 
        descent.
            (6) For example, as recently as 2018, the United States 
        Armed Forces had grooming policies that barred natural or 
        protective hairstyles that servicewomen of African descent 
        commonly wear and that described these hairstyles as 
        ``unkempt''.
            (7) In 2018, the United States Armed Forces rescinded these 
        policies and recognized that this description perpetuated 
        derogatory racial stereotypes.
            (8) The United States Armed Forces also recognized that 
        prohibitions against natural or protective hairstyles that 
        African-American servicewomen are commonly adorned with are 
        racially discriminatory and bear no relationship to African-
        American servicewomen's occupational qualifications and their 
        ability to serve and protect the Nation.
            (9) As a type of racial or national origin discrimination, 
        discrimination on the basis of natural or protective hairstyles 
        that people of African descent are commonly adorned with 
        violates existing Federal law, including provisions of the 
        Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.), section 
        1977 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981), and the Fair 
        Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.). However, some Federal 
        courts have misinterpreted Federal civil rights law by narrowly 
        interpreting the meaning of race or national origin, and 
        thereby permitting, for example, employers to discriminate 
        against people of African descent who wear natural or 
        protective hairstyles even though the employment policies 
        involved are not related to workers' ability to perform their 
        jobs.
            (10) Applying this narrow interpretation of race or 
        national origin has resulted in a lack of Federal civil rights 
        protection for individuals who are discriminated against on the 
        basis of characteristics that are commonly associated with race 
        and national origin.
            (11) In 2019, State legislatures and municipal bodies 
        throughout the United States have introduced and passed 
        legislation that rejects certain Federal courts' restrictive 
        interpretation of race and national origin, and expressly 
        classifies race and national origin discrimination as inclusive 
        of discrimination on the basis of natural or protective 
        hairstyles commonly associated with race and national origin.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the Federal Government should acknowledge that 
        individuals who have hair texture or wear a hairstyle that is 
        historically and contemporarily associated with African 
        Americans or persons of African descent systematically suffer 
        harmful discrimination in schools, workplaces, and other 
        contexts based upon longstanding race and national origin 
        stereotypes and biases;
            (2) a clear and comprehensive law should address the 
        systematic deprivation of educational, employment, and other 
        opportunities on the basis of hair texture and hairstyle that 
        are commonly associated with race or national origin;
            (3) clear, consistent, and enforceable legal standards must 
        be provided to redress the widespread incidences of race and 
        national origin discrimination based upon hair texture and 
        hairstyle in schools, workplaces, housing, federally funded 
        institutions, and other contexts;
            (4) it is necessary to prevent educational, employment, and 
        other decisions, practices, and policies generated by or 
        reflecting negative biases and stereotypes related to race or 
        national origin;
            (5) the Federal Government must play a key role in 
        enforcing Federal civil rights laws in a way that secures equal 
        educational, employment, and other opportunities for all 
        individuals regardless of their race or national origin;
            (6) the Federal Government must play a central role in 
        enforcing the standards established under this Act on behalf of 
        individuals who suffer race or national origin discrimination 
        based upon hair texture and hairstyle;
            (7) it is necessary to prohibit and provide remedies for 
        the harms suffered as a result of race or national origin 
        discrimination on the basis of hair texture and hairstyle; and
            (8) it is necessary to mandate that school, workplace, and 
        other applicable standards be applied in a nondiscriminatory 
        manner and to explicitly prohibit the adoption or 
        implementation of grooming requirements that disproportionately 
        impact people of African descent.
    (c) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to institute definitions 
of race and national origin for Federal civil rights laws that 
effectuate the comprehensive scope of protection Congress intended to 
be afforded by such laws and Congress' objective to eliminate race and 
national origin discrimination in the United States.

SEC. 3. FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAMS.

    (a) In General.--No individual in the United States shall be 
excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be 
subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving 
Federal financial assistance, based on the individual's hair texture or 
hairstyle, if that hair texture or that hairstyle is commonly 
associated with a particular race or national origin (including a 
hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, 
cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros).
    (b) Enforcement.--Subsection (a) shall be enforced in the same 
manner and by the same means, including with the same jurisdiction, as 
if such subsection was incorporated in title VI of the Civil Rights Act 
of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), and as if a violation of subsection 
(a) was treated as if it was a violation of section 601 of such Act (42 
U.S.C. 2000d).
    (c) Definitions.--In this section--
            (1) the term ``program or activity'' has the meaning given 
        the term in section 606 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 
        U.S.C. 2000d-4a); and
            (2) the terms ``race'' and ``national origin'' mean, 
        respectively, ``race'' within the meaning of the term in 
        section 601 of that Act (42 U.S.C. 2000d) and ``national 
        origin'' within the meaning of the term in that section 601.

SEC. 4. HOUSING PROGRAMS.

    (a) In General.--No person in the United States shall be subjected 
to a discriminatory housing practice based on the person's hair texture 
or hairstyle, if that hair texture or that hairstyle is commonly 
associated with a particular race or national origin (including a 
hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, 
cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros).
    (b) Enforcement.--Subsection (a) shall be enforced in the same 
manner and by the same means, including with the same jurisdiction, as 
if such subsection was incorporated in the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 
3601 et seq.), and as if a violation of subsection (a) was treated as 
if it was a discriminatory housing practice.
    (c) Definition.--In this section--
            (1) the terms ``discriminatory housing practice'' and 
        ``person'' have the meanings given the terms in section 802 of 
        the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3602); and
            (2) the terms ``race'' and ``national origin'' mean, 
        respectively, ``race'' within the meaning of the term in 
        section 804 of that Act (42 U.S.C. 3604) and ``national 
        origin'' within the meaning of the term in that section 804.

SEC. 5. PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

    (a) In General.--No person in the United States shall be subjected 
to a practice prohibited under section 201, 202, or 203 of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a et seq.), based on the person's 
hair texture or hairstyle, if that hair texture or that hairstyle is 
commonly associated with a particular race or national origin 
(including a hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly 
curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros).
    (b) Enforcement.--Subsection (a) shall be enforced in the same 
manner and by the same means, including with the same jurisdiction, as 
if such subsection was incorporated in title II of the Civil Rights Act 
of 1964, and as if a violation of subsection (a) was treated as if it 
was a violation of section 201, 202, or 203, as appropriate, of such 
Act.
    (c) Definition.--In this section, the terms ``race'' and ``national 
origin'' mean, respectively, ``race'' within the meaning of the term in 
section 201 of that Act (42 U.S.C. 2000a) and ``national origin'' 
within the meaning of the term in that section 201.

SEC. 6. EMPLOYMENT.

    (a) Prohibition.--It shall be an unlawful employment practice for 
an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-
management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or 
retraining (including on-the-job training programs) to fail or refuse 
to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate 
against an individual, based on the individual's hair texture or 
hairstyle, if that hair texture or that hairstyle is commonly 
associated with a particular race or national origin (including a 
hairstyle in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, 
cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros).
    (b) Enforcement.--Subsection (a) shall be enforced in the same 
manner and by the same means, including with the same jurisdiction, as 
if such subsection was incorporated in title VII of the Civil Rights 
Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), and as if a violation of 
subsection (a) was treated as if it was a violation of section 703 or 
704, as appropriate, of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e-2, 2000e-3).
    (c) Definitions.--In this section the terms ``person'', ``race'', 
and ``national origin'' have the meanings given the terms in section 
701 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e).

SEC. 7. EQUAL RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW.

    (a) In General.--No person in the United States shall be subjected 
to a practice prohibited under section 1977 of the Revised Statutes (42 
U.S.C. 1981), based on the person's hair texture or hairstyle, if that 
hair texture or that hairstyle is commonly associated with a particular 
race or national origin (including a hairstyle in which hair is tightly 
coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, 
and Afros).
    (b) Enforcement.--Subsection (a) shall be enforced in the same 
manner and by the same means, including with the same jurisdiction, as 
if such subsection was incorporated in section 1977 of the Revised 
Statutes, and as if a violation of subsection (a) was treated as if it 
was a violation of that section 1977.

SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit definitions of race 
or national origin under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000a 
et seq.), the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), or section 
1977 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1981).

SEC. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act shall take effect on August 9, 2020.
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