Hy-Vee employee fired for not shaving mustache

Local News

BOONE- Bob Dentlinger was fired for refusing to shave his mustache. (He’s had it for 45 years)

Dentlinger told Local 5 that managers rejected the policy calling trimmed mustaches and beards. 

“I never worked in the kitchen area or the bakery area, I helped out at the liquor store but never the food preparation area, “Dentlinger said

Dentlinger says he was a part time worker and in his five years, was never told to get rid of the mustache. 

“In page 10 of the store handbook it says you can have a beard or mustache as long as it is neat and well-trimmed.

Hy-Vee statement to Local 5:

Hy-Vee, Inc. has no corporate policy prohibiting facial hair.

“It recently came to our attention that the Boone Hy-Vee implemented a policy that prohibited employees from having facial hair of any kind. With the policy change, an employee was terminated due to his refusal to shave. Since learning about the situation, we have since reversed the policy implemented at that store. Also, the employee has been apologized to and offered his job back at the store.

“The new Boone Hy-Vee store director misinterpreted our standard operating procedures for food safety guidelines and was trying to do what she felt was in the best interest of our customers.

“Due to Hy-Vee’s autonomous culture, policies can be set at the store level; however, we are now reviewing whether a policy should be enacted at the corporate level for all of our stores regarding facial hair.”

Local 5 can confirm that Dentlinger was contacted by Hy-Vee and will be meeting with the store director this week, he plans to accept the apology and go back to work. Dentlinger says corporate officials will allow him to keep his mustache. 

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