Post # 1
Here I am with another question.
My employer just put a new policy in effect that is making a lot of employees mad.
Last year, the hospital that I work at had a policy stated that dress should be “professional for the position”. Some depatments have sub policies under this, like mine, working with the NICU patients. I cannot wear rings with stones for example, and we have to wear hospital-issed scrubs (you know, the really ugly, unflattering ceil blue ones) and no nail polish.
My department has now relaxed on the nail polish thing (we can wear polish but no fake nails) but there is a hospital wide policy now on hair color.
While I never got into bright or wild hair colors, a few of my coworkers have and I’ve seen a lot of other hospital employees that have. I’m not talking a couple of streaks, heck I did that in high school, but full hair color of green or turqoise. Anyway, the hospital policy says that these wild “unnatural” hair colors are not allowed starting August 1 as it doesn’t give off a professional image. I think the exact wording is that the colors are inconsistent with the professional image the hospital wants to portray. It applies to everyone, not just those of us that work in patient care.
I was off today but I heard from my coworker that employees are outraged. How dare the hospital dictate how they should look! I also heard some of my coworkers have asked our boss for reimbursement to make their hair “normal” again but I guess HR was ready for that one and my boss said they are on their own dime for it.
So what do you think? Would a policy like that make you want to change jobs? Should companies be able to dictate your hair color?
I’m genuinely curious.
Post # 3
I think they are always able to dictate their requirements and if you don’t like it you leave. I’ve never worked a job that allowed ‘unnaturally colored hair’.
Post # 4
Some people look at the wrong stuff. If a family member or myself is sick or injured- I don’t give a rat’s ass if the doctor is covered in piercings and tatoos and the nurse has neon pink and blue hair. I care if they’re competent and skilled. I care if they’re kind and compassionate.
I’m sorry your company has the misguided notion of what a professional is based on such conservative superficialities, but I don’t think this violates any human or civil rights. I’d be pissed and disappointed, but not enough to quit an otherwise good job. I would, however, make my feelings on the subject known, even if it didn’t make any difference.
Post # 5
I’m an elementary school teacher. It’s in our handbook that if our hair is colored, it must be a natural color. We would most definitely get in trouble/not rehired for this- or at least the younger teachers would- we have two “older teachers” in their 50s that have put bright pink in their hair with no repercussions (one is a breast cancer survivor and only does it in October which is 100% okay in my opinion) but it isn’t right that the other quirky 50 year old can but the rest of us can’t. Policy also states we can only have 4 piercings- all of which must be in our ears. They don’t follow this rule.
Eta: we also can’t show tattoos
so, yes, employers are allowed to do this
Post # 6
Yes they can do this. They’re not requiring employees to dye their hair a specific color or even to not dye their hair at all. They’re just saying “stick to colors that occur in nature” and I’m assuming they’re applying the same policy to men and to women. This is reasonable and legal.
Post # 7
Can companies do this? Yes. Should they, IMO, no. I think it’s healthier for the culture of the organization to keep these kind of requirements work related (the ring thing seems to make sense) and then judge people based on their performance.
Disgruntled employees are going to give off a worse image than pink hair, in my opinion.
Post # 8
They can yes. But only if applied to everyone. I personally DGAF if the nurse caring for me has purple or teal hair. I want him or her to be good at their job. But apparently I’m not in step with how those in charge feel. It’s strange that they looked the other way for so long and now care. I wonder if they received complaints or are undergoing a change of ownership?
Post # 9
Fwiw I wish I could dye mine an unnatural color just once for fun. But we have the same rule here.
Post # 10
If companies can dictate how you dress, I see no reason they can’t dictate what color your hair is. I don’t think my company has a policy about hair color (although I’ve also never seen any one at my company with very bright hair) but they do have policies about visible tattoos and visible piercings other than your ears. I think there are career paths that people should just assume are going to be more conservative and to me, a hospital career is one of them.
I would love to have a full sleeve tattoo, however, I knew going into my career that I likely would never be able to have visible tattoos. To me, it wouldn’t be worth finding a different job if the only thing I didn’t like about the company was the hair color policy.
Post # 11
Yes, same policy applies to men and women. I’ve seen just as many men with bright colored hair as women at my place.
I think my question should have been should
comapnies be able to do this. I honestly see both sides. I feel like you should be able to express yourself and if that means colored hair, so be it. I also understand if you’re a patient or family member, especially older ones, how they would side eye someone that didn’t look “professional”. Actually, that’s how the policy change came about – patient surveys were sent out and people wrote back complaining about the bright hair colors.
Post # 12
Both – they had complaints plus we merged with a different hospital group around 18 months ago and they’re trying to get all the hospitals policies alligned. One hospital started it and slowly the other ones have been changing too.
I am sure piercings are going to be next.
Post # 13
Not sure if this would actually be as okay in my country, and hospital staff here wear whatever haircolor they want. What is mandatory though, are the scrubs, no rings, no watch, long hair must be in an up-do, no long necklaces and no nailpolish (no clear nailpolish either). But these things are mandatory for hygienic reasons, which makes absolute sense to me.
So to me it is weird that they would back down on nail polish, but enforce the hair color policy. Odd that looks seem to be more important to them than something that actually influences the health care, you know?
Post # 14
I’m an RN and I’ve worked at places that don’t allow unnatural hair colors (or nail polish for that matter). It sucks but it’s life and much more common in the hospital setting than I imagined.
Post # 15
they CAN, but I don’t agree with it