Can employers dictate hair color?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 61
Member
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I work for a health system, and we also have the rule for “unnatural hair colors.” We also can only wear certain nail polish colors, such as nude, pink, or red. We are not allowed to have chipped nail polish either (I guess the expectation is to inspect them each morning and carry nail polish remover or polish for touch ups). No crop pants or visible tattoos either.

This is typical for the workplace. Should they be able to dictate these things? I don’t know. I understand them wanting to portray a certain image that management feels represents their standards and beliefs (the health system I work for is Catholic), but I do think they can go overboard.

Post # 62
Member
1798 posts
Buzzing bee

zzar45 :  You don’t know me or my religious beliefs! I thought that challanging time in my life was Allah nudging me into wearing hijab, a sign that it was time to strengthen my faith in His guidance. BACK OFF NOW! We’re done talking.

Post # 63
Member
1000 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t understand why they can’t just have a policy of, “If you have unnatural hair color, please wear a solid-colored surgical cap.” Just covering similar to policies for tattoos. I think it is RIDICULOUS for employers to have power over such a personal thing, but that’s our world. I hope one day it will change.

Post # 64
Member
1000 posts
Bumble bee

mrs2014 :  I wish America was like this. Maybe one day we will catch up.

Post # 65
Member
7905 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

macpartyoftwo :  Um, I didn’t say that. You’re thinking of a different bee. I think you were referring to yupmarried. 

Post # 66
Member
1593 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

redmango :  I think they can, and while I don’t agree with it, I wouldn’t choose it as my hill to die on if I otherwise liked my job.

I’m a private school teacher and our dress code is strict…my friends who work in state schools often wear jeans to work, whereas our dress code is suit and tie for men and “professional dress” for women. Basically, tailored pants and a top, skirts or dresses. Nothing too short or low cut. We also get a reminder every few months that we are only allowed to wear the staff sport uniform if we actually teach sport (fortunately I do, because it is SO comfortable). 

Regarding piercings and hair, nobody I work with has unnaturally coloured hair, visible tatts or piercings other than ears. It’s probably explicitly banned somewhere. I would struggle with a nail polish ban though – I love choosing new colours for my nails, and some of my students really like playing with my hair and nails.

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