Tattoos or Grooming Habits

A couple of readers of our blog post yesterday relating to employer dress and grooming policies helpfully added a couple of points about an employer’s legitimate health and safety concerns, which we publish below.

Marc Brenman, a university instructor in Olympia, WA:

“There are also issues of mutable characteristics, and safety. And issues

Way back on July 29, 2011 we wrote that an Oklahoma jury had awarded $20,000 in damages to a devout Muslim job applicant refused hiring by Abercrombie & Fitch when she appeared for an interview wearing a headscarf, or hijab, which she wore for religious reasons.  Abercrombie & Fitch argued that it has what it

Tattoos, body piercings, dreadlocks – can an employer prohibit such bodily adornments?  Can an employer require a “look policy?”


We just read about a woman in Edmonton, Canada who has 22 visible body piercings and claims that employer dress codes discriminate against her, and that “one prospective employer threw out her résumé in front

A couple more reader comments about our post about dreadlocks and mutable characteristics.  Put another way:  can forbidding dreadlocks in the workplace when it is not worn as a matter of religious belief still run afoul of Title VII as race related?

12974744_sShana Goodman, an HR administrator in the Atlanta Area:

“I think

Last September the EEOC sued an Alabama catastrophic insurance claims company under Title VII for allegedly refusing to hire a black woman who wore dreadlocks in contravention of the company’s grooming policy.

Dreadlocks Violated The Company Policy

The applicant had blond hair dreaded in “neat curls,” or “curllocks,” but the policy required employees to have

In our post of March 7th we said that “employment decisions based upon tattoos, certain headwear or other garb, and grooming habits may, in fact, run afoul of Title VII’s prohibiition against religious discrimination. How, you ask? Certain religions may require their adherents to conform to certain appearances, either clothing, body decoration or certain

There have been a couple of major legal matters just reported that relate to dress, tattoos or grooming habits in the workplace and the impact of Title VII.   On May 15th we wrote a long blog about whether workplace prohibitions relating to dress, tattoos or grooming habits violate Title VII. See also our blog of