General Question

audioinklined's avatar

Can my boss make me shave?

Asked by audioinklined (4points) February 6th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

They can’t make you shave. But they can fire you.

Blondesjon's avatar

That really depends. Are we talking facial hair here or…

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Maybe if you explained it to your boss he’d be ok with not shaving.. something like: “Hello boss guy, I really don’t have any interest in looking professional right now. In fact, if it’s ok with you, I’d like to retain my unprofessional look for an extended period of time.”

audioinklined's avatar

Okay guys look, I wanted to actually answer this question myself.but am new to the site and couldn’t find the old question post I had read after signing up, so I tried to find it again and inadvertantley wrote another question out that was nearly dead on to the original with which I was notn only trying to share my thoughts on but was also wondering the same thing due to the fact that my boss just dropped this on us last week, and I have a 2 year old dr.‘s note, but its from a different year and I know there’s going to be drama. Its very personal to me to remove my well kept facial hair for a job, and I think it is not only discriminatory, but in very bad taste to exerscise such nasty rule over your employees who are not there to run the bosses hamster whel (even as much as these employers love to think to the contrary..) Bu are trying to make a damn living, here’s what I wanted to say on the subject earlier, and please share your thoughts my friends and future critics:
“I call 100% bologney on this garbage. This is a problem, this extends from the boss having too much “power” in the work place. Women are allowed to wear hair long, with provisions of keeping it ina bun and the legal alternative (male) should in fact be keeping a well kept beard. Its a total, 200% double standard, and is shamedul. More bosses need to appreciate their employees and remember the simple fact that without the “lowly employee” whose strings they like to pull, the employer would not have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. Give your employees some damn respect and quite trying to take away the last little things they have to demoralize them and cause more unnecessary strain and stress on their lives; this is in fact a PERFECT example of why some bosses don’t go home at the end of some days ot some companies…everyone will say “we never expected Todd to do such a thing! It was out of nowhere that he came to work with that shotgun..” No, actually it wasn’t, remember how many times you played with Tom’s life? And then you all say poor us, why us? Hope there was some clarification there. Take it to heart, because “tom” does, you can bet your very life on it*.

MrItty's avatar

Your email reeks of unprofessionalism as well. This is not the way to craft a logial well-reasoned argument.

Further, to say that it is “discriminatory” is idiotic. You wear your beard as a choice. Discrimination applies to those features which are not choices. Height, skin color, gender, etc. Not whether or not you shave in the morning.

If you don’t like it, quit. Simple as that. Find a different job. Free country and all that.

dynamicduo's avatar

Here’s the thing. If you work in an at-will state, then your boss can fire you for any reason, just like you can leave your job for any reason. One of these reasons could in fact be facial hair limits. If you don’t like the fact that they have this rule, then you are free to work elsewhere. Same with any other working condition the employer puts on you. Since the policy is brand new though, you may want to talk with your boss to see what his logic is that made him implement this rule.

Since you have an old doctor’s note, it should be easy to go get an updated one for this year, and then present it to your boss in order to become exempt from the policy. That is, if your boss is willing to allow you to be exempt. There is no law requiring beards to be respected, and the thought of beard discrimination is laughably ridiculous (come talk to me about your beard discrimination once women are finally treated as equals in the workplace). There is no legal alternative to a woman’s bun, even if there were it’s certainly not facial hair, it’d be a man’s bun. You are fervently defending a right that simply does not exist as a legal class for discrimination.

One thing you’ve omitted in your post is exactly what type of job you’re doing. And this changes how acceptable your boss’ behaviour is. For instance, there was a no-facial-hair policy at McDonald’s, and this makes sense, as facial hair can easily get dislodged and land in a burger, and facial hairs are exactly the same texture and feeling as pubic hairs so it’s really gross to find one in your food compared to a head hair. Same if you were a salesmen, the company has an image they want to project and by agreeing to work there you agreed to the conditions that working there required, which is conforming with what image they want you to show. But if you’re not in a job that has any client interaction, like a desk job or a programmer, then the facial hair conditions are pretty draconian, and I would seriously doubt the integrity of the company if they made stupid policies like that. Yeah, it’s in bad taste, but not every company knows how to run itself well, let alone respectfully.

Your reply, as MrItty says, is completely unprofessional and seems to be more of a rant than any type of question asking or knowledge seeking. I mean, bringing in a shotgun to work and killing your boss because they made you shave your beard? That’s fucking ridiculous, and a sign that something else is going wrong upstairs. If you have any intent of changing the policy or getting your boss to agree to a compromise, you’d better not bring any of that up or you’ll be out of a job faster than you can say POW.

Is it nice for them to do this? No. Is it respectful? Certainly not. Would I work in a place that dictated the length of my hair (or beards, in your case)? No I wouldn’t.

Mr_M's avatar

Did you know about the “no beard” clause when you took the job? Yes? Then you don’t have a leg to stand on.

robmandu's avatar

And about long-haired women having to wear their hair in a bun (or swept back or whatever). If you’re working in food industry, your employer will be – by necessity – fanatical about your hair.

And I’ve seen where some employers require their bearded employees to wear a beard mask. Personally, I don’t like my beard enough to wear a beard mask 8–10 hours/day.

In agreement with @MrItty, growing a beard is a choice you made. Your other choice is to find a different job.

Whatever you do, don’t send that crappy-ass email. Well, not unless you want them to fire you instead of just quitting on your own.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think it depends on state law and what kind of employment contract you agreed to when you were hired. Many places have a dress code than dictates hair color, hair length, facial hair, jewelry allowed, etc. and it’s totally legal. Most of the jobs I’ve had for the past 10 years or more have had some sort of dress code and it’s been legal.

cak's avatar

I’ve read all of this – unless I’m missing something, I don’t see what you do for a living. I don’t mean company name, but type of work.

It’s a very tough economy right now, people are hanging onto their jobs – not quitting over hair issues.

robmandu's avatar

May we see a picture of the beard in question?

Feel free to obscure identifiable portions of your visage if you prefer.

jca's avatar

i remember a similar question asked about a year ago.

boffin's avatar

Shave where?

audioinklined's avatar

Geez. I said feel free to be critical and you guys let it really fly! Okay…fiiiirst off, im NOT trying to quit, this situation isn’t a “me or the beard” type, I don’t care exactly how “unprofessional” you all think the short expressed idea I wrote out on this site was, its what I THINK, if you don’t agree, that fine, but please do exercise some self control guys and spare me the insults. Next, no I do not work in the food industry. Next, I am a security officer. Looking professional is something debatable when you look at different individuals in security..however, I always maintain a professional image and look, with a groomed beard. In fact by what is defined in the dictionary (which I did look up a few years ago fue to a similar conflict of interests, but forgive me for forgetting which version it was and NOT keeping it on file for this occasion..darn) what I have on my face is technically defined under a “Goatee” , which is in fact permitted in our handbooks, but with which they seem to be straying from suddenly…how can they keep a rule book when they do not keep the rules themselves? Automatically there: the rules become garbage and lacking of respect when I am expected to follow something that isn’t even being followed by the management. Next, I do work at a job where I am easily replacable. Yes they could fire me, however I am not neeeearly the type of person who would take discrimination like that lightly. See, all of you who are snubbing me, insulting and throwing out your blatant disrespectful commentary are in actuality failing to realize is not matter how trivial YOU consider the mater, it IS in fact very serious and can destroy a company and their reputation. See, wht you rude people (and you knw who you ae, im not going to call ur names and make you feel special) don’t comprehend (yet again..) IS that when I was employed I was given the rights as an American Citizen at birth to not have to include what religious affiliation I belong to or for that matter what my personal beliefs are. I could very well wish to maintain a beard on my face because my Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ walked the earth all of his adult life with one and I am in strong agreement with that idea and style and as a Christian wish to emulate him as closely as possible. Christians would understand this. Now wether this is the case or NOT, is my business and not Mr. Security-Employer.
Surely your logic and better judgement is buzzing now, and at the least you have some snappy comments or ridiculous commentary to provide me back with regarding this. Okay, next, I never said that “I” was going to work with a shotgun, I only made a strong comparison to what “Joe Citizen”, perhaps SIMILAR to myself in some ways(possibly okay, shit calm down?), might feel. I would not come to work and shoot people for my beard having been shaved off by some petty phuks policy, or all his/her back-patters and “YES” men & women who supported it (who some appear to be posting on this site!??LOL). But my critical, eager-to-ravage-the-new-guy blog posters, I say to you, in my opinion we should indeed as men be allowed to wear a well maintained beard or “goatee” and not have to lose our jobs or homes over it. And all of you who statisically speaking probably* (some will swear up and down how “wrong I am!!”) voted for Obama, I say to you, where is you compassion for diversity and culture? You understanding for personal choice, freedom of religion and all those rights included there under? Even for you who do not believe in God, I ask you, would you not pursue your most basic rights unto the farthest attainability, even without certainty of victory? I am not an American who will lay down and let those who would try to strong arm me ramble-through, I hold my ground, and I fight back ever-inch-of-the-way..I am ver passionate as I see some of you are, or at least are trying to appear or are (quite noticably) still learning how to be. I suppport that. So much in fact I added a 3rd “P” to “support”. Where are my brothers ans sisters who support fair rights? Are you all so hell bent and under corporate America’s thumb that you would blindly ignore what should be defended as Americans? Would you stand to mock everything you disagree with?? “The blind leadeth the blind, and ye all fall in the ditch.”
Some of you could stand to take some notes from this post.
The ball is still in play, and if you feel like you’ve got something RELEVANT to add to this discussion, by all means, share your mind! Good evening, and service!

dynamicduo's avatar

I’d say tl;dr but I actually read through that.

No one was mean. We just told you an answer you don’t want to hear. Sometimes honesty sucks to hear when it doesn’t support your point, eh?

Have fun with your beard, dude.

audioinklined's avatar

*Dynamic come on. You were the most flavorful answer of all, I was really hoping for more from YOU in particular. I mean come on guys, I would love to have maybe you know, (1) person in agreement with me, or maybe not so much in agreement, but who understands and isn’t totally grabbing their ankles for their employers! Goodness have some self respect you sack lickers! See what im saying here? You’re al over me like hyena’s about the beard, and how im “lucky” to have a job right now, yes, you’re right, I am at CURRENT lucky to have a job in this God forsaken country, due to all the varied reasons I could debate with you, but am not about to because thaaaats another post. I asked the question. I was prepared for the people waiting to
pounce, so that’s okay with me. I just wanted to know what you EDUCATED opinions on the subject time, others with opinions varying from that narrow margin, perhaps might seek out a different question to “release” on? This does exclude a few posters, and I should think you know who you are.* And finally, to Robmandu, I will post a picture or link to a picture of my mug for you all to delight in the next couple days so you can all see what I’m talking about. – I dont wear it if its not appropriate, and I wouldn’t want to wear something on my face that was out of place in my work place. I’m not sporting a willy nelson here, guys. Its a little more refined than that*!

MissAnthrope's avatar

First of all, the tone of your posts has been defensive, aggressive, and—I don’t know how else to describe it—a bit “out there”. I think some people are maybe taken back by your tone and your vehemence; speaking of, the latter just seems rather odd to me, given the topic and, well, reality.

Secondly, you alternate alluding to being friendly (the smily face), yet you overwhelmingly come across as insulting (calling people “sack lickers”) and condescending.

Thirdly, you don’t seem to want to accept the opinion of people who disagree with you (seemingly the majority of people here). So what is the point of asking a question if you discount those opinions that don’t mirror your own?

Sort of difficult to get a reasonable, constructive discussion going with what we’re being dealt here. As has been suggested, you may want to take a step back and get a feel for what we’re all about here on Fluther, before you step in, guns blazing. It’s rather off-putting.

Mr_M's avatar

Do you have other problems with your bosses other than the beard issue? Did you have problems with your bosses on other jobs? Do you have a problem with authority? Do you get fired a lot?

The job you have now. Did you REALLY want it? Or was it the only place that would hire you?

Jesus Christ did walk the earth with a beard, as you say. He was also crucified. Would you want that, too?

audioinklined's avatar

See Alena, its people like Mr. M who earn such “respect” as I’ve given out.
I rrspect your opinion alena, and I wasn’t searching for nothing but agreement, but something else besides peole attacking the “new guy” on the board for a change would have been nice, but I expected it honestly so you all played your parts to near perfection.
I admit alena, I dnt knw what this site is even abt, but I saw a related post to a question I wanted to ask myself, and ended up answering one/asking one at the same time. To you I apologize if I came acrossed inappropriate, however I am extremely, EXTREMELY defensive and always will come out guns first dear, and alas, I cannot and will not make apology for that.
Such is the deserving world we inhabit today. I can tell you it would have nee nice to have at least one person agree with me in some fashion, rather than seem to all have taken some nose-in-the-air attitudes about it all, after I told them, A: my job, and B: that I was and am against corporattions all together really. They simply do not care wether or not we live or die, in association with their money and greed, and this is something I can never accept.
Mr. M, I should not even address your blatant jab at me, but as a Christian is it necessary for me to tell you that any of us should be so lucky to emulate any part of Christ’s life, Jesus was slain for the sins of the WORLD, surely even you can fathom this nothing to take lightly. How dare you dribble something so disprespectful from your mind onto this board. Shame on you. The Son of Man died for YOU, and this is how you show your thanksgiving? It is NOT for me to pass the judgement. You WILL have yours and me, my own. But shame on you for trying to attack me through Christ, but I am not suprised, Jesus said in the Bible, “if they hate me, they will hate you too.” I should have been so lucky to carry the cross for my Saviour. Yes, if the Lord appointed me to that duty I would have given what I was required for as long as I physically could. Make no mistake am I comparing myself to Jesus in the way you seem to be fishing for, but if the Lord required a task of me that I knew of, yes I would do it. It is my birth-right, and every man and womans wether they know it or not. The Bible says “other sheep will hear my cry…” interrperut (sp) this how you will, but I should hope* you and maybe others might listen and hear with more than your ears.
Compared to the beard arguement you’ve really taken it a hard right, in a direction not intended by the poster. In fact mr. M I would like you to withdraw your post. Have you any civility? Or you site and you friends? Show it, and retract your disrespect.
My job is a job. Anybody who goes to their job who isn’t an artist, actor or does work that’s hardly in fact something worthy of really being deemed “work”, who claims they are in love with their job is either flat-out lying or doesn’t know yet what real work is.
And I have news for you key-click-clackers, aka programmers or whatever you’d call yourself, sitting in a chair, drawing pictures or clacking those keys all day (or excuse me, in actuality playing Doom in the basement of your office building) isn’t real “WORK”. Bust your ass on a real day for a 12 hour shift, out of an office chair, then you can tell me about what you think you know about work, till then. step aside and stay in your lanes, rooks.

Mr_M's avatar

MY disrespect? MY disrespect? My friend, I am Catholic and I am appalled that you would DARE invoke Jesus Christ in order to justify your insubordination, to make a problem with your bosses and to create a reason for a stupid beard.

You got it wrong, dude. Jesus Christ didn’t want us to LOOK like Him. He wanted us to BE like him.

Your boss says no beard? Then shave.

jca's avatar

audioinklined: bottom line is, in this economy, if you want to keep your job and you’re not protected by some kind of a contract (such as a union contract) then pick your battles and decide how much this beard means to you. you could get nit picky and defensive about everything, and your boss could end up firing you (he could get you on something totally unrelated). maybe you don’t care about the job, only you can decide that. or maybe you want to keep the job, in that case, just shave it off, or use it to have a discussion with the boss about how valuable it is to you to keep it.

SantaTex's avatar

I was recently told I have to shave my beard as well. I was hired with a statement on my resume that says, “I have provided myself as a real bearded Santa Claus for 10 years to help orphanages and children’s hospitals, as well as, fund raising activities for children’s and veterans’ causes.” Part of the interview process was a Skype Video interview. A total of 3 executives and a local manager interviewed me on phone and skye with resume in front of them. NOTHING was ever mentioned about my beard. I resigned from my previous employment (same industry) who had no problem at all for 2 years with my beard and in fact asked me to provide Santa for them. Now, 3 months after starting with new company, I am being told I must shave. WTF

expert456's avatar

Ok so no one seems smart here. Simple as this. U dont have to shave they are NOT allowed to fire u. But they can only require u to wear a beared net. If u dont agree to wearing a beard net then they can ask u to leave

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