County Board to Consider Ordinance Amendment to Prohibit Discrimination on the Basis of Protective Hairstyles

July 20, 2023
County Board Supervisor April Kigeya, (608) 628-4239
County Board

At tonight’s 7:00 County Board meeting, the Board will consider an ordinance amendment that, if approved, would amend Chapter 18 of Dane County Ordinances to prohibit discrimination on the basis of protective hairstyles.  Chapter 18 is Dane County’s civil service ordinance.

The amendment prohibits discrimination based upon traits historically associated with race, including hairstyles by adding “cultural differences” as a basis for discrimination.

This ordinance amendment follows a similar amendment the County Board approved in 2021 to Chapter 19 of Dane County’s Ordinances that relates to affirmative action.  

The amendment also follows the passage of federal H.R.2116  that was approved in 2022 that created the Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act of 2022 or the CROWN Act of 2022.

A recent CROWN workplace research study found that while progress has been made, race-based hair discrimination remains a systemic problem in the workplace – from hiring practices to daily workplace interactions – disproportionately impacting Black women’s employment opportunities and professional advancement.

“There continue to be barriers to employment for people of color based in discrimination.  We need to continue to remove the barriers that prevent Black women from gaining and keeping employment that is free from discrimination”, said County Board Supervisor April Kigeya (District 15).