Can an employer not allow wigs?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer not allow wigs?

I am currently employed in a small independently owned sandwich shop that only allows natural hair colors. I understand they have the legal right to determine their employees hair color however I would still like to pursue red hair. I’m thinking I could wear a natural wig to work. Can they legally tell me I can’t wear a wig? I am worried they’ll make me change my hair back regardless.

Asked on November 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Most employment relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes mandating what employees can or cannot wear at the workplace and whether or not workers are allowed to color their hair. This holds true so long as such action does not violate the terms of any employment contract/union agreement or constitutes some form of legally actionable dscrimination (i.e. is due to their race, religion, age (over 40), disability or the like). Accordingly unless you need to wear a wig for religious reasons, etc. you have no claim here. Accordingly, you can either accept your employer's policy, defy it but risk termination, or quit.

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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