Publix frees the beard

click to enlarge Publix frees the beard
Photo via Publix on Facebook
Publix freed the beard Friday morning when the supermarket chain announced it would reverse company policy and allow store employees to grow beards starting Sept. 29.

For years, the Lakeland-based grocery chain has banned beards and long hair for male employees, but conservative mustaches like the pencil mustache of founder George Jenkins have been allowed. Warehouse workers, though, could wear beards.

reports Publix had been experimenting with policy in some stores allowing male employees to grow facial hair as long as it was kept groomed.

"Publix continuously evaluates our policies and standards and strives to have practices in place that best support the needs and wants of our customers and associates," a Publix spokesperson told WKMG 6. "We have been testing a new facial hair personal appearance standard in several districts throughout the company that has allowed male associates to wear facial hair, as long as the associate maintains a neat, clean, and professional appearance. Beginning 09/29/2018, Publix will be implementing this change company-wide."

The push for Publix to #FreetheBeard started in 2015 when Jacksonville Publix employee Brandon Wesley started an online petition asking the grocery chain to review its facial hair policies. To date, the petition has garnered more than 20,000 signatures.

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