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VOLUME 26 | December 2019



Montgomery County Council Passes CROWN Act: What Does That Mean For Employers?

By: David Burkhouse, Esq.

On November 5, 2019, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act which prohibits discrimination against individuals based on hairstyle. The CROWN Act:


  • Makes it illegal to discriminate against a person based upon a “protective hairstyle” which is defined as “those hairstyles necessitated by, or resulting from, the immutable characteristics of a hair texture associated with race.”
  • Specifically protects hairstyles such as afros, braids, locks, curls, and twists.
  • Allows individuals who believe they have suffered discrimination based upon a “protective hairstyle” to file a charge of discrimination with the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights and seek up to $5,000.00 in compensation.


The full text of Bill 30-19 may be obtained at the embedded link.



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Mr. Burkhouse is a Member with PK Law and is part of the firm’s Education, Labor and Employment Group. As part of Mr. Burkhouse’s employment law practice he counsels and represents employers regarding employment discrimination claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. Mr. Burkhouse also advises employers with regard to non-compete agreements, restrictive covenants, arbitration agreements, trade secrets, confidentiality agreements, and employee hiring and termination procedures.  Mr. Burkhouse can be reached at (410) 740-3150 or