Mayes, McClinton join advocates to rally for passage of PA CROWN Act

Call for state Senate to act on legislation to fight hair discrimination

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes joined Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton and advocates at the state Capitol today to urge the state Senate to pass legislation to establish the CROWN Act.

Mayes said the CROWN Act (H.B. 1394) – which would update Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination law to ban discrimination based on hair type, hair texture or hairstyle in employment, schools and other public settings – passed the House with a strong bipartisan majority last year but has been stuck in the Senate since that time.

“This legislation is about humanity, dignity and respect,” said Mayes, D-Allegheny. “It’s about eradicating all forms of discrimination that comes in the form of illegitimate attempts to dictate ‘socially acceptable’ norms about appearance by people who have no right to make those determinations. And what Pennsylvania does with the CROWN Act speaks volumes about how seriously our commonwealth embraces values of freedom, self-expression and respect for personal and cultural identity.”

Mayes said over twenty states have already passed legislation similar to the CROWN Act and urged organizations across the state to join the PA CROWN Act Coalition if they wish to build support for the bill.

“It’s 2024, and no one should choose between keeping their job and honoring their culture or from participating in a sport or activity because of their natural hair,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “It’s 2024, and it’s time for the Senate to pass the CROWN Act so Pennsylvania can join dozens of other states, like Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana to end hair discrimination.”

McClinton previously introduced the CROWN Act in 2021 and 2019, although it did not receive consideration under House Republican leadership.

The current bill – introduced by Mayes and McClinton – passed the House in July 2023 by a vote of 182-21 and remains in the state Senate State Government Committee.

Today’s news conference can be viewed here and photos are available here.