Europe

Burger King beard ban scrapped in Catalonia

People loiter outside a Burger King during a Pride event Image copyright AFP
Image caption The beard ban was deemed to infringe on "the right to one's own image"

Burger King workers in Catalonia will now be able to grow beards after local officials decided the company's ban on facial hair violated the constitutional rights of staff.

Authorities also ruled that ordering men and women to wear different clothes amounted to sexual discrimination.

Officials were asked to step in after the fast food giant refused to back down over the issue.

Inspectors said the rules infringed on "the right to one's own image".

The Workers' Commissions union raised the issue, arguing that Burger King's rules on banning beards, moustaches and stubble "undermined the dignity of its workers".

The regional government's labour inspection committee agreed.

"As a result of the inspection, it has been established that certain company practices laid out in the internal rules infringe the constitutional rights of workers, namely, the right to one's own image and the right to equal treatment and against sexual discrimination," the inspectors concluded.

The inspectors pointed out that other measures such as beard nets could be used in order to prevent the violation of fundamental rights.

They also found that company policy ordering men to wear ties and female workers ribbons amounted to sexual discrimination.

"We want this to be applied to all Burger King workers; not just those in Barcelona, where we have union representation," Carles Català of the Catalan branch of the Workers' Commissions told The Guardian.

Burger King employs more than 1,260 people in 46 restaurants in the province of Barcelona.

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