Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. loosen
    • ex. When I turned 16, my parents loosened their rules a bit. I was allowed to stay out later on weekends.
  2. a beard
    • ex. James doesn’t like to shave, so he has a beard.
  3. visible
    • ex. The prices aren’t visible, so you have to ask the staff how much everything costs.
  4. sue
    • ex. Don’t use that company’s logo in your presentation! They might sue us.
  5. discrimination
    • ex. Age discrimination is a problem. Many companies don’t want to hire older workers.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

Font size 文字サイズ

UPS, an American shipping company, has announced that it is loosening its strict rules on the appearance of employees who interact with the public. Beards, piercings, and visible tattoos are now okay. In addition, the company is allowing a wider variety of hairstyles and hair lengths.

Until recently, beards were not allowed, and employees had to hide tattoos and piercings except for earrings. UPS founder James Casey was famous for always wearing a suit, and he wanted his employees to always look professional as well. However, many employees argued that the company’s definition of “professional” was too old-fashioned. In 2018, UPS paid $4.9 million (about ¥540 million) after it was sued for discrimination.

UPS says that it wants employees to feel comfortable and be able to show their true selves at work. The company explained that it made the decision to loosen the rules after listening to feedback from employees. While beards, piercings, tattoos, and more hairstyles are now allowed, UPS says that its employees must still look business-appropriate. In addition, employee appearances must not cause any safety issues.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Rules on Appearance

  • Do you agree with UPS's decision to loosen its rules on employee appearance? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If employees don't follow the rules on appearance, what should companies do (ex. change their position, fire them)? Why? Discuss.
  • Should schools allow students to have piercings, tattoos, and a wide variety of hairstyles and hair colors? Why or why not? Discuss.

Being Professional

  • Is it important to always look and act professional at work? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you agree with UPS employees that the company's definition of "professional" was old-fashioned? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Should schools teach students how to be professional? Why or why not? Discuss.