I never had a problem wearing a turban with a scarf to work at my previous employer which did happen to be a non-profit organization. I've been in a new position now for awhile and it is in the corporate world so I do take into consideration they do things a little (or a lot) differently. I do, at times, have to see the public and meet and greet clients but on this particular day everyone was out of the office and I decided to wear my turban with a dressy scarf. It is, in my eyes, still very professional and my dress was still work attire. However, today my boss told me that it was inappropriate and told me that I could not wear it again, in other words, and I asked this, I have to wear a wig. Has anyone else had to confront this because I am struggling. I have had Alopecia for 34 years and have never had this happen. It was very hurtful and offensive. I normally wear a ball cap and bandana when I'm not at work and I can see that a ball cap may not be appropriate in this setting but this was a turban with a nice scarf.

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As long as you can prove that your wearing head scarves is medically necessary by a doctors' note, that discussion with your boss will be resolved. If it continues by your boss, you will have a nice Anti-Discrimination case against your boss & corporation you work for.

If an African American women can wear one in Congress or any other political event. Or Church! What the hell is this guys problem ? What would he say if you walked. In BALD I would love to see his face. What's he gonna say oh that's not appropriate! Lol If he says a negative word I'd be a HR in a heart beat. Stand Strong he sounds like a bully. Protect your sanity. its his problem. Blessings Linda

Not only would I speak to HR, I would contact the labor board. It just makes me cold to think your head couldn't be covered.

Situations like this are the reason why I carry an "alopecia readiness" kit to every job I've ever had and deliver it to the Human Resources Department on the first day. The kit includes a letter from my dermatologist explaining what alopecia is, her contact information, a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the business card of my attorney as well as the local EEOC representative. I also keep a copy on my person at all times in case any member of management has a question about it.

I rarely even wear scarves anymore; I only wear them when the temperature gets below freezing (which is rare in Tennessee.) I *MIGHT* wear a wig once a year - for 20 minutes - and that is also because the weather has made going about my usual bald self impractical. I also work in a corporate environment, just like you. To date, I've never had a question asked when I change up and wear a hat or a scarf or my wig or just go au naturel.

*NOBODY* - not an employer, not a significant other - *NOBODY* can force you to wear a wig to work. Would your employer force someone going through chemotherapy or radiation treatments to cover their heads? If they wouldn't, then you have a clear-cut case of discrimination on your hands and it should be handled appropriately. If they would, on the other hand, then the question becomes this: Would you really want to work for someone that is unwilling to make reasonable accommodations for a medical condition?

Your right to wear whatever you want on your head - or nothing at all - is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (if you live in the United States or any of its territories.) That means reasonable accommodations have to be made for you; which, in this case, is the ability to wear what you want to on your head, or nothing at all. If you're in the EU, there are some countries with similar laws; I would check to see what they are and react accordingly.

I wish you the best of luck in this situation. Please let us know how this turns out for you!!

This is great info and I love the idea of the "alopecia readiness kit". I have gone bald quite a few times but my head does get cold. Also, I have found that scalp doesn't tan so when I get sun on my face then I have this tan line that looks fun, LOL. I recently went on one site though that had some beautiful turbans/cap though and was actually thinking about purchasing some for work before all this happened. I appreciate the information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, this is great. Thank you so much!

I agree,
Check the dress code policy if you have one. If you have an HR dept call and ask them as well. Don't be defensive, just explain what happened and does he have the right to tell you it was inappropriate.
It IS true that you should pick your battles because if he loses this one he may try retribution in another way.
Definitely use a diary, I have had to do this myself, if things get worse.
I also agree that you should go in bald. That is who you are and you shouldn't back down. I know how expensive wigs are, and if you aren't comfortable wearing one, like my daughter, then just be yourself.
Good luck!!


I am very sorry that you had to experience that kind of negative reaction from your boss. If you read my profile you will see that I addressed the fact that women who have no hair are rarely seen working in high profile positions that require them to meet and greet the public/clients or have to represent a company publically in any way. Business owners want a certain "look" to represent their company and that would not be a bald woman or a woman in a cap/scarf/turban. That is just the cold reality of the world we live in. I work in the medical field in a hospital(not non-profit)and have a fairly high profile position and I MUST wear my hairpiece every day. I would never have even gotten the job I have now if I did not have hair (wear my hairpiece). I meet with physicians every day and other administrative hospital personnel and while it seems like prejudice or harassment, I can understand that certain business's want or need their employees to have a certain look, and unfortunately that includes having hair. Wouldnt you think that working in a hospital would be the ONE place that would be understanding and compassionate about alopecia? Well, they are not and while it makes me mad, I want to look professional and I want to look normal. If you love your job, bite the bullet and wear a wig. If I walked into work without my hair, I can tell you right now that I would be called into Administration and fired or laid off for some silly made up reason. Yes, you are offended, but at the same time, you are employed in the corporate world so you must play the part. No, its not fair!!!!!! Good luck!!!!

I also work in the healthcare industry at the corporate offices of a VERY large hospital chain (which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) - and nobody, from the CEO on down, has ever had an issue with it (and I deal with him on a daily basis.)

It is entirely possible to maintain a professional look without hair - and just like other people have mentioned, if bald or balding men, sufferers of other types of medical hair loss, and adherents to certain faiths are not required to cover or uncover their heads, yet Sharon is, then that is about as clear-cut a case of discrimination as you can get, and there are remedies available to address that.

This advice is not just for Sharon; rather, it is for any one of us that happens to have issues at work as a result of our alopecia. Every alopecian in the workforce, as a matter of due diligence, has the responsibility to be informed about how they can and should be treated in the workplace with regard to alopecia. There are so many laws and policies out there that protect us, there's no reason under the sun why anyone should experience any type of discrimination as a result of it. Unfortunately, though, that is the reality we face.

Another sound piece of advice, more as a CYA than anything: When in doubt, *DOCUMENT EVERYTHING*!!! Create a paper trail. Should it come to filing an official complaint and pursuing legal action, the person with the longest paper trail wins. Pure and simple. Don't let the offender be the one with the longest paper trail.

This is such a good point. Even if you can prove by Dr.'s note, HR report, etc. that your boss was out of line, they can still keep a file on you for stupid sh*t and make up some reason to fire you. That is something that scares me if I were to work for a company that was that shallow. While no one can legally force you to wear a wig, they can legally find something else. It's a lot of pressure to bend over backwards to meet company policy just so you can make up for doing something you need to do for perfectly valid reasons that your super may not like. 

I am very sorry for the way you were treated. However you are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and he just broke the law. You just experienced discrimination and you need to go to your Hr department and explain what happened. Further neither your HR department nor your boss can make your private medical information public. If they do you can sue them.

Go to your doctor and get documentation that says you have a medical condition and that you wear a head covering to accommodate it. Present that to HR for your file. Every company must allow you to wear a wig or head wear of your choosing.

Although this is very hurtful, and your bosses ignorance created a negative situation for you, there is no need to remain victimized.
I agree. It sucks that ignorance, bullying & prejudice like this stil exists today but that's the reality. We as a nation are so hypocritical to expect better from our children in schools & then trest people in such a way. That's why there are laws that protect individuals rights such as the American's with Disabilities Act. This issue is worth standing up for so that hopefully people who follow after us will not have to endure this same injustice. However standing up for youself may not came without it's price. Although it's tough I think we should ask ouselves "Would I want domeone I love to go through this?" If the answer to that is no, then the battle might be worth the cost.

Best wishes to all!

PS I personally believe prayer conquers all!

Thanks for your comments and yes the last statement about prayer conquering all will give us the strength we need to get through ignorant, hurtful & demeaning comments such as these. People are cruel but I do know the One who holds the power to conquer all and I'm thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ who gets me through each and every day.



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