Fear the beard - Page 3

Can an employer get away with firing someone for having facial hair?

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Christopher Hanson was fired for having a beard even though he can't shave for medical reasons.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

Meanwhile, a spate of cases have been brought against no-beard policies at fire departments around the country by African American men suffering from a common skin condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae. The condition, which disproportionately affects African Americans, leaves pimply bumps on the beard area after shaving and can cause scarring over time — and the 100 percent effective cure is to refrain from shaving. No-beard policies in fire departments are borne out of the need for firefighters to wear respirators when battling infernos. While the results of those cases varied from city to city, some plaintiffs were able to show that the policies were a form of racial discrimination because they had a disparate impact on African Americans.

Meanwhile, staff attorney Linda Lye of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California was willing to weigh in. There are no laws banning no-beard policies on the state or federal level, Lye said, yet courts have ordered employers to make exceptions for religious reasons and to prevent racial discrimination in the case of the black firefighters. She added that certain municipalities such as Santa Cruz have enacted employment laws that prevent discrimination in appearance policies. In general, Lye noted, the ACLU is "troubled whenever employees are penalized because of medical conditions, race, sexual orientation, or other similar factors." 

Comments

He was fired for being a bad tech, and not the beard. That's just what companies do when they need an excuse to get rid of you.
Way to burn a bridge buddy.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

I have worked for Swank...they don't fire anyone based on performance.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

That's for sure!

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

I worked at that Four Seasons and they had 2 people with beards. One was 'grandfathered' in before policy change and the other had the same medical condition which was recognized by HR at the time.

Posted by Guest on May. 19, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

av techs arent employed by the claremont theyre contracted soooo this article has it all wrong...

Posted by Guest on May. 20, 2011 @ 8:33 am

Hi Guest, Please go back and read the article again, and you'll see that it does not say he was employed by the Claremont: "Hanson worked as an audio-video technician for Swank Audio Visuals, a company that does conferences and events at major hotels throughout the Bay Area, including the Westin St. Francis, the Claremont, and the Four Seasons." Thanks for reading. --Rebecca

Posted by rebecca on May. 20, 2011 @ 9:18 am

This company shares the same name as a jerk-mag and they have the nerve to worried about beards. lol

Posted by chelsea on May. 20, 2011 @ 9:12 am

They did this guy a favor. Take your $15/hr job and your lack of facial hair and shove it up your cornhole pipe.

Posted by Disgruntled Ex-Swanker on May. 25, 2011 @ 11:46 am

Mehhhh, welcome to the real world!

Posted by MEHH on May. 26, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

If the company violated the law, then they should have the pay this guy off. However, this guy is as creepy as they come. Just look at him..what a tool! Take your Giants hat worn a world series ring too late, you pseudo matching shirt, your poorly groomed pubic hair chin and your wannabe mean-mugging face and go find your next ambulance to chase. Also, enjoy spending your measly settlement paying off your student loans that were obviously no help in landing you a job that pays a 38-year old more than $15/hr.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 11, 2011 @ 8:39 am

The above comment, "this guy is creepy as they come"... Was posted by a bitch ass little sucker who looks like Harry Potter. lol. A bigger loser there's never been. Anytime you feel man enough...you know where you can find me. Trick.

Your music sucks and you're a four eyed geek. Easy to talk tough behind a keyboard on the Internet, isn't it? Coward.

What a chump.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 16, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

so this isn't that unusual. I recall at least one of the big accountancy firms had a "no facial hair" policy, at least for customer-facing staff. A fortiori for visible tattoos and piercings, as you'd expect.

And the hospitality business routinely defnes how its employees should look.

If your looks are getting you into trouble at work, chances are that you're in thre wrong job.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 17, 2012 @ 7:25 am

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