Hired then Fired with Piercings

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Hired then Fired with Piercings

I was hired as a receptionist in July. During the interview process I asked if my piercings were OK, my boss said it was fine is SHOULDN’T be an issue. It is now May and I am JUST being addressed to take out my piercings by my boss supervisor or else i will be fired. Thing is I have been working and associating with HR, Training’s, My boss and his supervisor and not once did they say anything before. Isn’t there some kind legal action I can do? it’s so unfair and I refuse to take them out. In Nov I signed in an agreement of dress code amongst other things yet I still was not addressed

Asked on May 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As general rule, a business can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes putting in place dress and appearance policies. That having been said, if your piercings have religous significance, then the company cannot bar them. That having been said, if an otherwise permissable rule is enforced in a discriminatory manor, then that would not be permissible. For example, if your piercings had to be removed but someone of another race or religion, etc. could keep their piercings, that may constitute legally actionable discrimination. Also, if you have protection against this action under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, then you could keep them. Finally, dress/apearance codes can generally be changed "at will" by an employer, so what was once acceptable can be changed to nowunacceptable. 


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