UPS ends ban on beards, natural hairstyles and gender-specific guidelines


By JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES, ABC News (NEW YORK) — United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is officially relaxing rules around banning facial hair for its public-facing workers.The delivery service giant previously prohibited male employees from wearing long hair, afros and braids. Now, those rules are changing for the better.In an effort to be more inclusive and reflective of its diverse staff of more than 500,000, the company gave an update on its uniform and appearance guidelines on Tuesday.”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,” a UPS spokesperson told ABC News’ Good Morning America in a statement.The guidelines come after UPS CEO Carol Tomé listened to feedback from employees and heard that changes in this area would make them more likely to recommend UPS as an employer.”Our updates allow for a wider array of hairstyles, facial hair and other personal appearance preferences, and are another example of our People Led strategy to make UPS an even better place to work,” UPS said in a statement.In 2018, UPS was accused of religious discrimination in a lawsuit. The company paid $4.9 million to settle the suit.In addition to eliminating rules against facial hair and natural hairstyles, the company is also loosening gender-specific regulations related to its uniform — such as the length of workers’ shorts.UPS said all styles and uniforms worn by employees must not pose any safety concerns and still be business appropriate.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.