Ever wonder why you do not get promotions? Maybe your employer finds your grooming or appearance not good enough for a higher position.


According to a survey by CareerBuilder.com, a company managed by Microsoft Corp., there are some factors why employers do not offer an employee a job promotion. In the survey, the following are the determined reasons related to workplace grooming that may cause an employer not to promote a worker:


  • Having piercings
  • Having a bad breath
  • Sporting visible tattoo
  • Wearing rumpled clothes
  • Wearing casual dress           
  • Wearing too much perfume or cologne
  • Maintaining a messy office station or cubicle
  • Having chewed fingernails
  • Wearing heavy makeup


Some employees may find the said factors to be discriminatory. However, in legal sense, it is not. There is no employment law that specifies prohibition of discrimination against employees based on their grooming or appearance. Employers may discriminate against an employee because of his or her characteristic without violating the provisions set by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Employers may create company policies regarding regulation of workplace grooming and appearance. However, many employers do not practice this because they fear that they may be violating certain employment law. In relation to this, a well-drafted and consistent enforcement of a policy about workplace grooming may not be in violation of any law.


However, employers cannot discriminate against an employee based on his grooming or appearance if he is doing for religious purposes. According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if an employer has a grooming policy that conflicts with a worker’s religious beliefs, the employee may be request for an exception. Examples of grooming practices based on religion may include shaving of hair and hair length.


If proven that an employer discriminated against an employee based on his grooming even though he requested for an exception, the former may face legal charges. Pursuant to Title VII, employers are not allowed to discriminate against a worker based on his religious creed. The Act prohibits discriminatory acts when it comes to any aspect of employment, such as termination, hiring, salary, promotions, benefits, and training.


In summary, an employer may have the discretion not to give job promotion to employees who relatively do not have well grooming practices. However, if the employee’s grooming or appearance is based on his religious beliefs, he cannot be discriminated against because it is violation of the Title VII. Employers should be very careful when creating and implementing company policy regarding grooming and appearance to avoid discriminating against employees who are practicing their religious creed.