Is an unenforced policy good enough to fire someone?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is an unenforced policy good enough to fire someone?

I work for an employer who has not enforced an anti tattoo policy for over a year, and now wants to make about 30 of us either cover up in the heat of Arizona or get rid of us. Do we have a legal leg to stand on?

Asked on August 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, generally speaking a company may put in place dress and appearance codes. Additionally, a business can choose to enforce a previously unenforced section of its company policy. The fact is that an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. That is unless such action constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination or violates the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement. Bottom line, you'll have to comply with this regulation or risk termination.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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