Here’s a warning about general grooming standards and disciplining employees over their hairstyle choices: Make sure you apply the same standards to all employees and don’t end up forbidding members of a particular protected class to wear hairstyles that are OK for other workers.
For example, if black or Hispanic employees are punished for braiding their hair, but white employees aren’t, you may be looking at a race or national-origin discrimination lawsuit.
Recent case: Carmelita, who is black and of Hispanic origin, worked in housekeeping at a resort in the Poconos. She received a handbook that specified grooming standards, including one that required hair to be worn in a “conservative” style and off the shoulders or tied back if long.
Supervisors were allowed to interpret “conservative.” Employees were told that braids were fine as long as they didn’t allow an “excessive” amount of the employee’s scalp to show.
Even so, Carmelita was fired after she refused to remove the braids from her hair.
She sued, alleging that only black or Hispanic workers were punished for wearing braids, while white workers were not disciplined or fired for having various braid styles, such as French braids. She told the court that her braids didn’t expose her scalp.
The court sided with Carmelita, noting that several other employees of color were fired for wearing cornrow braids, but that no white workers were. This, the judge concluded, was proof that Carmelita and the others were singled out based on their race or ethnicity, and not because the actual hairstyle violated grooming standards. It noted that no one insaid Carmelita’s braids exposed her scalp, so she hadn’t violated the grooming rule. The court awarded her $25,000. (Vazquez v. Caesar’s Paradise Stream Resort, No. 3:CV-09-0625, MD PA, 2013)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/37563/a-hairy-problem-cut-biased-grooming-rules "