Free the beard, am I right?
It's been a long time coming, but Publix finally ended its controversial “no beards” policy last month. The grocery store chain will now allow employees to have beards that are “no more than approximately two inches” long. The policy also states that “all facial hair must maintain a neat, clean, and professional appearance.”
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Publix’s previous “personal appearance standards” state that “males must be clean shaven — no beards or goatees allowed.”
The change comes two years after Jacksonville employee Brandon Wesley started a petition to encourage the chain to change their policy.
"I believe that the majority of the people I work with at Publix also believe that we should be allowed to have some facial hair besides only a mustache," the then 19-year-old Wesley wrote. "We should be allowed to have a beard, with limitations on how long it can be and a beard net for the employees who work with food."
Wesley, who is still employed at Publix, says he is glad he and his coworkers are finally being heard.
“I’m glad to see that Publix is continuing to listen to its employees and test out new ideas and concepts as it grows,” Wesley told the Orlando Sentinel. “Now the ball is in our court to follow the guidelines, but at least for now we will be looking a lot better while doing so.”