I got my hair cut into a short Mohawk. Someone found it offensive and HR is now telling me that I have to keep on my hat while on company premises. There is no place in the employee manual that states that I can’t have a Mohawk. Is what they’re doing legal?

Posted  07-24-2012

Ann Kiernan replies:

As a general rule, employers are free to enforce grooming standards and dress codes. Employees can be told to cover up tattoos, remove clothing containing offensive words or images, and conform to hair, make-up, and dress standards. However, employers must reasonably accommodate employees whose religious beliefs require that they have certain haircuts, cover their hair, or dress in a particular fashion. From what you write, it does not look like you had a religious reason for your haircut, so your employer can pretty much do what it likes about it.


Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.