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Human Resources/question about enforcement of dress code

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Question
My question is as an employee, not as a manager. My company, which is a pretty large corporation has a set dress code. It's business casual, no casual Fridays, you are expected to dress up for special events. There is nothing about facial hair listed anywhere.

My boss, who is basically the manager of my department has made comments about my facial hair. She says I have to either be clean shaven or grow a full beard. I can't have stubble. This is a bit ambiguous, because sometimes I will have stubble even if I've shaved that day or the night before. She's very old fashioned, and will also make comments to girls about wearing make up.

My question is she can say whatever she wants, but is she in the right to discipline or even fire me if I don't comply with her request to shave every day? Is it what she says goes, or if it's not listed anywhere in an official dress code am I safe?

Answer
M
Thanks for the question.
Why dont you just sit down with her and discuss the situation instead of getting upset.  What I am sure she is commenting about is that stubble (meaning more than 24hrs growth) has a tendency to appear unkempt, while a beard (neatly trimmed) can look quite professional.  Your employer has the right to require a neat, clean appearance in a professional environment. (I wear a beard myself).
Just sit down and have a conversation and relax.
Let me know how it goes.
Jim

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Jim Dromsky

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I can answer questions relating to Management/Executive recruitment, retention and development. How to's relating to Organizational Development, Training, Succession planning, Management assessment and when to go outside instead of promoting from within. Additionally, questions on performance based compensation incentives, employment law, harassment, etc.

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James Dromsky is Founder and CEO of Orion Consulting, Inc. During his twenty-five year career he has conducted and managed Executive Search and Human Resources consulting engagements in the Consumer Products, Electronics/Computer, Financial Services, Information Services, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Transportation and DOD related industries. Prior to founding Orion Consulting, Inc., Mr. Dromsky functioned as Engagement Manager and Consultant for regional and national Search and Consulting Firms. He has successfully completed Search assignments for positions including President, General Manager, Vice President Operations, Vice President Finance/CFO, Vice President Marketing/Sales, Vice President Manufacturing, Vice President Engineering, Vice President R&D, Vice President Human Resources as well as Managerial, Supervisory and Professional Direct Contributor positions in all functional areas. As President of Orion Consulting for the past 23 years, Mr. Dromsky is directly involved in and responsible for all Search and Consulting engagements. These engagements have ranged on the Search side from a single top management assignment for a start-up firm to a 75 hire multi-year reconstruction of a major appliance manufacturing concern. The Consulting engagements have ranged in scope from individual assignments such as a targeted salary survey; development and implementation of database applications for a H.R. Information System in the consulting industry; design and growth of a software development team for the information services arena to the conceptualization and installation of a complete corporate Human Resources function. Mr. Dromsky received his education in Biology and Chemistry from Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. In addition, he has taken graduate course work at the same university in the area of Business and Marketing. Mr. Dromsky served in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

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Mr. Dromsky received his education in Biology and Chemistry from Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. In addition, he has taken graduate course work at the same university in the area of Business and Marketing. Mr. Dromsky served in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

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