Can I be forced to cut my hair or be terminated for a haircut that I have had since before I was hired?

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Can I be forced to cut my hair or be terminated for a haircut that I have had since before I was hired?

I wanted to know if this is lawful to do to an employee. So I am a female and I have had my haircut the same for over 3 years now. I have a Mohawk and I recently moved to Amarillo about 3 months ago and was hired at a Mexican restaurant. The day of my interview, I went and got my sides cleaned up and my hair freshly cut. It has been a a few months since my last haircut due to financial issues. Well as a Christmas gift from my wife, I went and got my hair cut for the holidays and pictures and did my usual haircut. A trim on top and the sides cut. When I arrived to work I was told that I was unable to work with my hair the way it was

because it’s exotic and will cause too much attention from the guests. I was called out on it in front of employees and guest and feel very discriminated against. I was given the choice of leaving and I need to have my whole head shaved or I am unable to work there anymore. Is this a lawful reason to fire someone?

Asked on December 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be forced to cut your hair or face termination, unless your hair style is part of a religious observance or is due to a medical condition of some sort. Otherwise, absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, your employer can set the terms of dress and appearance much as it sees fit. This is true even if this the hairstyle that you had when first hired. 


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