The changes relax the strict limits on facial hair (no beards for most employees, and mustaches limited to above the crease of the lip), how long men could wear their hair (nothing longer than collar length) and hairstyles (no Afros or braids). While styles still must be business-appropriate and not pose a safety concern, those specific limits have been eliminated.
The UPS changes also include the lifting of gender-specific regulations, including rules like the length of the uniform’s shorts. The new rules, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, were posted on an internal company web site for employees.
“These changes reflect our values and desire to have all UPS employees feel comfortable, genuine and authentic while providing service to our customers and interacting with the general public,” UPS said in a a statement, adding that the company is “determined to continue to make UPS a great place to work for all of our more than 500,000 employees around the world.”
UPS had faced criticism that its appearance rules, particularly the hair guidelines, amounted to a form of discrimination. In 2018 it agreed to pay a $4.9 million fine and enter into a consent decree with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to allow greater freedom to wear beards and long hair by those who filed for a religious exemption.
UPS is likely also motivated to make the changes due to the need to add more staff to handle the increase of packages being sent because of the surge in online shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/11/business/ups-end-beard-ban/index.html
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