Can my manager make me clock out and go shave?

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Can my manager make me clock out and go shave?

On the first occasion i was 30 minutes into my
shift and my manager asked me to clock out
and go shave. On the second she told me to
shave first and then clock in

Another employee who needed to shave was
allowed to do so but was not asked to clock out

Asked on July 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly, that is unless some form of legally actionable discrimination is the reason why (and you did not indicate this to be the case). Additionally, most employment relationships are "at will" which means that a comapany can eet the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary). Accordingly an employer can set policy as to a worker's appearance. And for breach of such a policy an employee can be sent home to correct their appearance. Further, such time is not considered work time, therefore it is not compensable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer may do this. Employers determine what is an acceptable appearance for work; they can send home an employee whose appearance they find unacceptable and do not have to pay him for going back and shaving or otherwise correcting his appearance, since that is not work time. Also, employers do not need to treat all employees the same, so it would be legal to leave one employee clocked in, but not another.


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