The CROWN Act will protect Black Pittsburghers from hairstyle discrimination.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto submitted the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act to City Council on Monday.

The bill would offer protection from hairstyle discrimination for Black Pittsburghers at work, in housing, in the classroom, and public spaces.

“The City of Pittsburgh is committed to equity and to eliminating the barriers that unfairly affect our communities,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Black hair is and always has been professional, but that has not always been reflected by employers, schools, or agencies in this city. This legislation affirms our commitment to improving outcomes for Black residents and make certain that they do not face natural hair discrimination in the workplace, when searching for a home, or when entering a business.”

Mayor Peduto’s motivation for introducing the bill was part of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission’s 2019 report that suggested the city is the most inequitable for Black women when it comes to personal, professional, housing, and educational outcomes.

The bill would provide legal recourse for individuals that experience discrimination due to their hairstyles.

Those looking to make claims of discrimination will be able to report the case to the city’s Commission on Human Relations. The CHR will also provide guidance for landlords, employers, and business owners to make sure they understand the ordinance.

“Pittsburgh’s CROWN legislation is an important step in creating explicit protections that can help us realize a more inclusive and racially-just city,” said CHR’s Executive Director Megan Stanley.

Pittsburgh looks to join places like California, Colorado, and New Jersey as places that have passed legislation to ban hair discrimination.

The ordinance will be introduced to City Council formally on October 6 and the full text can be found on the city’s website.