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Is it Discrimination to Prohibit Facial Hair?

I recently came upon fairmeasures.com and found an interesting discussion on the facial hair policies.

Rita Risser, a legal expert in the organization, writes an interesting opinion in responding to an inquiry by a manager on whether or not he can be sued in criminal court for violating the Civil Rights Act by enforcing facial hair policies. I’ve included her answer here in its entirety:

“First, you can never be subject to criminal action for a violation of the Civil Rights Act. Second, the Walt Disney company has grooming standards on facial hair for all their US theme parks, as do many, many other employers. Facial hard standards have been ruled on by many courts, and all of them have held that facial hair rules are legal, IF the employer accommodates people who have a medical or religious reason for not shaving. There is a very old case that held that facial hair standards are an illegal invasion of privacy if the employer is a government agency. Assuming you are a private employer, you have the right to set grooming standards.”

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