Is it legal if my employer is forcing me to dye my grey hairs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal if my employer is forcing me to dye my grey hairs?

I am currently being told by the company I work at that I have to dye my head of grey hairs. I recently decided to go grey once I noticed more and more hairs coming in grey. I am only 24 so I know it’s not the norm for people my age to

have this happen but can they force me to dye it to continue working there? I know it’s an at will state and hair color isn’t really covered in discrimination, right?

Asked on June 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were 40 or over, it would likely not be legal: in that case, it could be seen as illegal age-based discrimination to make an older employee dye his/her hair.
But hair color is not directly covered by *any* anti-discrimination law, so unless you could somehow show this is effectively racial discrimination (e.g. you belong to an ethnic group which greys very early, if there is such a group), disability-based discrimination (the hair color is the result of a medical condition), or possibly sex-discrimination (they make women dye their hair, for example, not men) there is no protection for it: they can make you dye, the same as they could make you take piercings out, cover up tatoos, or adhere to a dress code.

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