Can my employer make me shave off my facial hair because of a new rule?

Asked about 2 years ago - Charleston, SC

The company hired me with facial hair and have had no issue with it for over 2 years. My beard is kept trim and neat at all times. Two individuals in management also have beards, but there seems to be no push to have them shave. I'm curious how this seems like a just and fair policy change.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Robert John Murillo

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They can change policies and can require personal grooming policies provided those policies are not illegally discriminate (religion being an issue at times). So unless you have basis under a protected characteristic, they can change policies and require compliance, as a general matter.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not... more
  2. Michael S. Haber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Murillo gives you good advice. You're right that this policy change sounds neither "just" nor "fair." Unfortunately, however, employers are not required to be just or fair. Rather, the limitations on an employer's conduct is usually stated in the negative: An employer may NOT violate a written employment agreement; an employer may NOT discriminate based on such factors as sex, pregnancy, age, disability, national origin, color, creed, race, or religion. An employer may NOT retaliate.

    Good luck to you.

    Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are... more
  3. Mark Alan Mackin

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Work through the list Attorney Haber provides and see if discrimination on any basis listed exists. If not, shave and keep your job. If so, document everything and see a lawyer. Your choice whether to shave first.

    DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the... more

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