Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview for that coveted Walmart position. Is it acceptable to work for Walmart and have a beard? Good news. Your beard is welcome at Walmart!
According to the latest policy, Walmart employees are permitted to have beards. Beards and mustaches should be neat and trimmed, and all other hair should also be clean and well-groomed. You may be required to wear a beard net if you deal directly with food.
If you want to learn more about Walmart’s facial hair policy, read on!
Are Walmart employees allowed to have facial hair?
Before 2018, Walmart’s dress code was very restrictive. Employees complained about the ban on blue jeans and the strict color requirements related to shirts. Compared to these issues, the facial hair policy has always been pretty relaxed.
Walmart employees are allowed to have facial hair as long as it is kept clean, neat, and trimmed. If you handle food, you may be required to wear a beard net.
In 2018, Walmart’s employee dress culture changed to the “Express Yourself” policy. This policy was much more relaxed and encouraged employees to be themselves when at work. Safety and professionalism are still very important, but giving more flexibility has increased morale and job satisfaction.
Fun Fact: Walmart associates were once required to only wear khaki or black pants and white or navy collared shirts.
Can you be fired for growing a beard at Walmart?
Facial hair is common in today’s workplace. A man with a beard and mustache is pictured on Walmart’s personal appearance policy. A look at other Walmart corporate web pages shows male employees with various degrees of facial hair.
Since facial hair is allowed according to Walmart’s personal grooming policy, you cannot be fired for growing a beard. The grooming policy does state that all hair should be neat and clean. If you don’t follow the hygiene rules, firing could be possible.
Coming to work with food stuck in your beard or sporting a scraggly, unkempt beard could result in a reprimand from management. As with most jobs, professionalism and general appearance maintenance are required.
Does facial hair policy vary at different Walmart locations?
Making a case for your beard should be an easy task at Walmart given their generous policy. However, some managers may be pickier than others when it comes to the details.
While corporate policy should override any individual manager preferences, some managers may be more accepting of facial hair than others. Managers may not ban facial hair completely but may have different interpretations of “neat and trimmed.”
According to Walmart’s policy, managers now have more autonomy to say “Yes” instead of “No, you can’t” to questions of style and individual expression.
Are there exemptions for beards and mustaches at Walmart?
If you feel like your beard is being discriminated against, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Equal Opportunity Laws can offer relief from facial hair restrictions.
Exemptions to grooming policies may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Legally, facial hair exemptions can be made based on religious and cultural beliefs or for medical reasons.
Religious or cultural beliefs
U.S. Equal Opportunity laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
For some cultures and religions, facial hair is an outward expression of faith and observance. In these cases, talking with your manager will get the process rolling on how to overcome any restrictions that could interfere with your faith.
The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures employers provide accommodation for employees with disabilities unless it would cause undue hardship on the employer’s business operations.
If you suffer from a skin disorder that makes shaving painful, providing documentation can often exempt you from strict requirements.
As Walmart’s beard policies are already relatively relaxed, most people will not need to resort to requesting a medical exception.
Are beards considered unprofessional?
Should you just play it safe and shave your beard off to keep from making waves? No, beards are commonplace and popular. Showing up with a beard isn’t likely to shock anyone. Chances are an interviewer or manager will be bearded too.
In 2022, beards are not considered unprofessional as long as they are hygienic and well-groomed.
If your job involves a gas mask or respirator, then beards might not make sense. However, most Walmart positions embrace facial hair as long as it’s tended to.
Walmart hair policy in 2022
Walmart’s 2018 Express Yourself policy also relaxed hair color and style requirements.
Walmart’s current hair policy has removed most restrictions concerning hair color. The regulations state as long as the color isn’t distracting to other employees, individuals can do as they prefer. Of course, the definition of “distracting” can vary among store leadership.
Even “unnatural” hair colors like bright pink and red are often given the green light according to employees on Indeed message boards. One respondent said “Unnatural hair colors and interesting hair cuts are fine. In fact, individuality is encouraged.”
Some associates may be required to put long hair up due to safety. Those working directly with food may be required to wear a hairnet to avoid contamination.