Can I require the male employees I manage to cut their hair? I’m not talking buzz cut—just something below shoulder length?
Personal grooming policies are allowed only in very limited situations. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about your situation to determine whether you could implement such a policy at your own organization—although the fact that it applies only to men raises a very red flag. What I can do is present a few scenarios to help you and the other HR directors reading this determine whether it would be okay to make their employees cut their hair:
MANDATORY HAIRCUT POLICIES
MIGHT BE OK IF:
NOT OK IF:
The 7 Conditions Under Which Personal Grooming Policies Are Allowed
In sum, employers are allowed to impose a personal grooming or dress code only if:
- It serves a legitimate and important purpose;
- The policy is necessary to accomplish the purpose;
- There are no less restrictive alternatives that will accomplish the purpose;
- The policy is clear and unambiguous about what’s allowed;
- The policy doesn’t violate the collective agreement (in a union workplace);
- The policy doesn’t discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, etc.; and
- You enforce the policy consistently.
For More Help with Dress Codes & Personal Appearance Policies
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