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In re Trans World Airlines, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    A stewardess sued Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA) for terminating her employment after she refused to appear for inspection by the airline supervisor.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Management can require employees to verify compliance with regulations.

    Facts.

    A stewardess was employed by Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA). TWA required their stewardesses to have their hair cut at or below shoulder length. The stewardesses were not permitted to wear wigs to evade regulations, although they were permitted to wear wigs otherwise. The supervisor suspected that the stewardess’ haircut did not comply with TWA regulations and when asked to lift her hair to prove that she was not wearing a wig, the stewardess refused. The stewardess was terminated and subsequently sued TWA both for harassment and her termination.

    Issue.

    Whether management can require employees to verify compliance with regulations?

    Held.

    Yes. The hostess should be reinstated without pay. TWA’s standard requiring hostesses to keep their hair cut at shoulder length is both reasonable and clear. TWA is equally entitled to verify employee compliance by inspecting whether their appearance meets the regulations. The hostess’s reinstatement is proper, however, because she believed that the supervisor’s demands were improper.

    Discussion.

    As long as regulations are clear and reasonable, management is entitled to verifying employees’ compliance with regulations.


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