Q: can a warehouse make you wear a ponytail if you don't work around or pass thru any machinary
A: Unless the employer is discriminating against a work based upon the worker's being in a protected class, yes. It's no different than the employer mandating the an employee wear orange shoes with polka dots--odd and perhaps not rational--but not unlawful.
A: Unless the employee can prove that wearing their hair loose represents religious expression, then yes, the employer can make rules mandating ponytails in the warehouse, especially since this is likely a rule in place with everyone’s safety in mind. When employees wear their hair or facial hair in a certain style in observance of their religious tenets, by law employers cannot discriminate against them, unless there is a legitimate safety concern for the hair policy. In addition, there are laws in place that prohibit race-based hair discrimination, including hair texture or protective head coverings. However, outside of these exceptions, employers can legally enforce rules about how to wear your hair in the workplace.
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