Find the right lawyer now

Makeup Requirements In The Workplace

Find a Local Employment Lawyer near You

Can Employers Enforce Makeup Requirements in the Workplace?

The law allows employers to enforce reasonable grooming and appearance requirements. These requirements must not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, or religion. However, employers may institute different requirements for male and female employees. These requirements may constitute sex or gender discrimination if the requirements impacts one sex or gender group adversely, restrict employment opportunities for one group, and are demeaning to the group it applies to. Furthermore, these requirements must be related to the job. For example, a professional image may be considered important in some positions.

Some positions where makeup requirements may be allowed include:

  • Beverage employees, such as bartenders or cocktail waitresses
  • Restaurant waitresses
  • Flight attendants
  • Newscasters and reporters
  • Clothing retail associates

Examples of Impermissible Differences

Employers are not allowed to institute the following:

  • Require only one sex to wear a uniform;
  • Have different weight requirements for men and women, with one being more burdensome to meet than the other; and
  • Have grooming or appearance requirements that are entirely unrelated to the employment.

Examples of Permissible Differences

Courts have allowed different requirements in grooming and appearance to be instituted. These include:

  • A requirement that men wear ties and women wear skirts or dresses
  • A requirement that men not wear jewelry, so long as this requirement was mean to protect the company's business image
  • Differing requirements as to hair length and facial hair for men and women
  • Requiring female bartenders to wear makeup and forbidding male bartenders from wearing makeup
    • Such was the case in Nevada

Do I Need An Attorney If My Employer Instituted An Appearance/Grooming Requirement That Discriminates Based on Gender or Sex?

If you believe that the appearance or grooming requirements at your workplace exceed their proper scope or are discriminatory, you may want to consult an experienced employment lawyer. An experienced employment law attorney will be able to advise you of your rights as an employee and determine whether you have a valid case of sex or gender discrimination.

Photo of page author Sally Hong

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-30-2018 06:55 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.