Beards have become a popular accessory in recent years, but can an employer make you shave your beard if you want to keep your job? This article explores the legal considerations of facial hair in the workplace and provides seven tips for employees to consider when deciding whether to keep their beard or shave it off.
Can An Employer Make Me Shave My Beard?
In the United States, employers have the right to set their own grooming policies. This means that employers can require employees to be clean-shaven or to maintain a certain style of facial hair. However, there are legal limits to what employers can require. Employers cannot impose policies that discriminate against certain employees on the basis of race, gender, or religion. For example, if an employer requires all male employees to be clean-shaven, but allows female employees to have beards, this could be considered discrimination.
7 Tips For Employees To Consider
1. Know Your Rights: Before making a decision about facial hair, it is important to understand your rights as an employee. Familiarize yourself with your company’s grooming policies and any applicable laws that may protect you from discrimination.
2. Talk to Your Boss: If you are considering keeping a beard, it is a good idea to talk to your boss to make sure it is allowed. Your boss may have specific requirements for facial hair, and it is better to know these before making a decision.
3. Consider Your Workplace: Different workplaces have different norms. If your workplace is more conservative, it may be better to stick with a clean-shaven look. On the other hand, if you work in a more casual environment, you may be able to get away with a beard.
4. Think About Your Image: If you are in a customer-facing role, your appearance is important. A beard may not be appropriate if you want to maintain a professional image.
5. Consider Your Health: Facial hair can trap bacteria and germs, so it is important to keep it clean and properly groomed. If you decide to keep a beard, make sure to wash it regularly and keep it trimmed.
6. Be Prepared to Compromise: If you decide to keep a beard, be prepared to compromise on certain aspects. Your boss may require you to keep it a certain length or style.
7. Don’t Take it Personally: If your boss requires you to shave your beard, don’t take it personally. Remember that it is the employer’s right to set grooming policies, and they may have a valid reason for doing so.
Employers have the right to set their own grooming policies, and employees may be required to shave their beard if it does not conform to the company’s policy. However, employers cannot impose policies that are discriminatory. Before making a decision about facial hair, employees should consider their rights, the workplace environment, their image, and their health. Ultimately, it is up to the employee to decide whether to keep their beard or shave it off.