Four black firefighters are filing a federal lawsuit against the FDNY after being put on light duties all because they can't shave based on medical grounds.
Reports state that the firefighters suffer from a skin condition caused by shaving, and they were given medical accommodation allowing them to have a close shaved stubble, so long as their breathing masks still fitted securely, as this would not affect their ability to work.
The skin condition known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, better known as razor bumps or barber's itch is a rather common issue many men face when shaving the same areas regularly.
The lawsuit states that a disproportionate number of black firefighters have been affected by the 'clean shave only' policy, which has seen those effected placed onto lighter duties within their role until the problem at hand has been dealt with sufficiently.
This is not the first the first time similar situations have been raised within certain professions. In the past facial hair has been heavily frowned upon in various roles. The Armed Forces are still very strict on such rules and have only just started loosening their ruling against growing a beard.
Whilst I can see why some positions may frown upon facial hair, I do find such rules rather dated, and agree with those who suggest things should be refreshed and revisited. then of course if facial hair really does prove a safety risk then more of us would understand these rules. But to me, it all feels rather dated in my honest opinion, and could likely be debugged with more modern testing.
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And until next time, beard on Brothers...