If you want to snag a job with the nation’s top delivery service, will you be able to keep your iconic beard? The simple answer is yes, but you might have to make some adjustments depending on the type of job and your particular leadership.
In 2022, you can have a beard if you work for FedEx Ground or Express in delivery driver or package handling positions. There are no broad facial hair restrictions, although specific managers may be more strict or lenient than others.
Read on to learn more about FedEx’s facial hair policy!
Are FedEx employees allowed to have facial hair, beards, or mustaches?
Facial hair trends have ebbed and flowed throughout history. One year they’re hot, the next not so much. Beards came back onto the male fashion scene over 10 years ago and have continued to gain in popularity. You could say the bearded man is a fashion staple today. Even top employers are embracing whiskered employees.
Today, FedEx employees are allowed to have facial hair, beards, or mustaches. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Before 2000, beards on delivery drivers or other customer-facing roles weren’t allowed.
Beard culture hasn’t always been ingrained in America’s courier services. Clean-shaven faces were historically seen as more professional among delivery drivers showing up at the front door wielding packages. FedEx and its competitors had strict “no beard” and “reasonable style” rules for face and hair.
Can FedEx drivers have a beard?
The underlying mission for all FedEx employees is the “Purple Promise.” This promise states that every FedEx experience will be outstanding. With its grooming policy changing to allow beards, FedEx recognizes that drivers can still offer a winning experience while wearing some facial hair.
FedEx drivers are allowed to have beards. While the exact policy change date is unknown, the changes occurred alongside beard popularity trends. Managers have the autonomy to suggest length guidelines.
Fun Fact: Frederick Smith, the founder of FedEx, came up with the idea of the overnight delivery service as he was writing a Yale term paper. He received an inheritance from his dad and used the money to turn his paper dreams into reality.
Official FedEx facial hair policy in 2022
Finding an actual, written FedEx grooming policy is on par with solving the world peace problem.
Details appear to be hard to track down. However, there’s been a lot of chatter regarding the topic on employment message boards.
The official 2022 FedEx policy on facial hair is that it is allowed. It appears this change was made more than a decade ago.
While the FedEx Code of Conduct doesn’t explicitly state beard specifications, a look at employment discussion boards shows a wide range of acceptability.
Can you be fired for growing a beard at FedEx?
Prior to 2000, beards were a no-go for customer contact employees at FedEx. Times have certainly changed. A look at their website boasts employees with various states of facial hair.
Since facial hair is now allowed at FedEx, even for customer-facing positions, you would not be fired for growing a beard. However, you could be disciplined or terminated for insubordination if you refused to keep your beard clean and trimmed.
Professionalism and an excellent customer experience are non-negotiables at FedEx. Poor grooming or hygiene will be called out by management and expected to be corrected. If not, termination would be possible.
Does facial hair policy vary at different FedEx locations?
As with most policies, specifics can be open to interpretation. While facial hair is allowed, different managers seem to have different maximum length preferences.
While the overall acceptance of facial hair seems to apply to all FedEx locations, specifics like length and style can vary depending on location and management preferences.
Beard styles at FedEx range from “Duck Dynasty wanna-be’s” to “.5 …or 1-inch limits.” Employment message board responders lament that specific policy is hard to come by. One manager seems to let anything go, while another takes out a ruler when the beard appears to reach an arbitrary length.
On sites like Indeed, when asked if there are any facial hair restrictions, the resounding answer is “No.” However, most employees say the “beards allowed” rule change trickled down as word of mouth instead of a big announcement.
Many claim to have never seen the actual rules in written form even when they asked management. This vagueness leads to a vast array of beard styles in FedEx positions across the country.
Are there exemptions for beards and mustaches at FedEx?
Employers are free to institute dress and grooming standards. If these standards interfere with an employee’s religious or cultural beliefs exemptions may be granted.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. To comply, FedEx offers exemptions for beards and mustaches if appropriate documentation is filed stating religious, cultural, or medical reasons for facial hair.
The late nineties ushered in lawsuits pertaining to beard growth for religious reasons and cultural hair-dos. Because of the strict grooming policies in place, FedEx and other delivery companies gave individuals the option to move to non-customer-facing positions if they felt the need to grow a beard.
Many times this move to another role resulted in less responsibility and less pay, so employees filed suit.
Religious or cultural beliefs
After 2000, attorneys found that FedEx had voluntarily changed its grooming policy to allow for religious exemptions. This came after notable lawsuits where FedEx settled discrimination cases.
FedEx’s personal appearance policy now allows for religious exemptions. Facial hair and hairstyles grown as an expression of faith are considered for exemption when the necessary documentation process is followed.
Khaleed Abdul-Azeez filed suit after he was asked to shave his beard soon after being hired as a delivery driver. He refused to shave because his beard was a symbol of his Islamic faith. FedEx desired to reach a compromise and put him in a position that didn’t require customer contact. He declined the alternate positions and was fired as a result.
A group of Rastafarians also sued FedEx after they were told to cut off their dreadlocks. They claimed the dreads were a reflection of their faith. When they didn’t comply, they were fired.
These suits paved the way for a more flexible exemption process and general grooming policy at FedEx.
While FedEx’s grooming policy didn’t always allow religious exemptions for facial hair and hairstyles, it did accommodate those who suffered from medical conditions.
FedEx’s personal appearance policy allows facial hair exemptions for medical reasons with the necessary documentation.
Now that FedEx has relaxed its facial hair policy, exemptions aren’t needed as much as in the years prior to 2000.