Can I be denied employment for my piercings if several employees have the same piercings?

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Can I be denied employment for my piercings if several employees have the same piercings?

Asked on August 10, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be. Employment is "employment at will," which means, among other things, that employers have complete and free discretion in terms of who to hire. Moreover, employers do not need to be consistent--they can hire one person then refuse to hire a second person who seems very similar in key ways. The only thing they cannot do is discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as race, sex, age over 40, religion, or disability. However, piercings are not protected, so if they refused to hire you due to piercings, that is legal, even if they have other employees with the same piercings.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be. Employment is "employment at will," which means, among other things, that employers have complete and free discretion in terms of who to hire. Moreover, employers do not need to be consistent--they can hire one person then refuse to hire a second person who seems very similar in key ways. The only thing they cannot do is discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as race, sex, age over 40, religion, or disability. However, piercings are not protected, so if they refused to hire you due to piercings, that is legal, even if they have other employees with the same piercings.


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