UPS to Allow Natural Black Hairstyles and Facial Hair

The policy change comes amid a growing national movement to ban racial discrimination based on people’s natural hairstyle.

By Michael Levenson, The New York Times

“UPS will allow workers to have facial hair and natural Black hairstyles like Afros and braids as it becomes the latest company to shed policies widely criticized as discriminatory amid nationwide demands for racial justice.

The delivery company, which has more than 525,000 employees worldwide, said it was also eliminating gender-specific rules as part of a broader overhaul of its extensive appearance guidelines, which cover hair, piercings, tattoos and uniform length.”

A UPS driver making a delivery in Brooklyn. The company has eliminated rules against facial hair.
Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

“The policy also permits natural hairstyles “such as Afros, braids, curls, coils, locs, twists and knots,” according to The Journal. And it eliminates guidelines specific to men and women. “No matter how you identify — dress appropriately for your workday,” the policy states.

The Teamsters, which represents UPS workers, said it was “very pleased” with the changes.

“The union contested the previous guidelines as too strict numerous times over the years through the grievance/arbitration process and contract negotiations,” the union said in a statement. “We have proposed neatly trimmed beards during several previous national negotiations.”’

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