The Wild Center appearance policy sets standards for grooming, dress, and appearance that define appropriate attire for the workplace and for times when staff are off-site representing the Center. All Wild Center staff are required to dress according to this policy. The enforcement of these policies falls on the direct supervisor of the employee. In the absence of a direct supervisor, the Manager on Duty will address the problem and then inform the supervisor in a timely manner.

This policy is not all encompassing and managers reserve the right to use professional judgment to address employees with regards to their attire.  Individuals requesting an accommodation to these guidelines for religious or other reasons should contact Human Resources. Our commitment to excellence in customer service and the standards set forth in this policy will ensure that The Wild Center staff maintains a professional, easily recognizable appearance in order to best serve our visitors. In addition, this policy provides for worker health and safety requirements as needed.  Safety and appearance policy for cafe staff have additional requirements, please contact Cafe Manager for more information.


A high standard of personal and oral hygiene must be maintained by all staff. No offensive or overwhelming odors are allowed, including body odor, excessive perfume/cologne, etc. Hair should be washed and neat. 



  • All elements of the uniform should be clean and orderly. Ripped or stained clothing is not allowed
  • The Wild Center or Waterside (café staff only) polo, button down, tech shirt, or t-shirt (facilities and cafe only) in short or long sleeves, a fleece jacket with logo, or a fleece vest with logo
  • If wearing a long sleeve shirt under the vest or short sleeve uniform shirt, it must be an understated, solid color. Plaid and other patterned shirts are not allowed
  • Shirts must be long enough that they cover the midsection, even when reaching
  • Uniform tops shall be provided upon hire
  • Full time, year round floor staff will receive 4 shirts in their choice of color/style and one fleece (vest or jacket)
  • Full time, year round administrative staff will receive 2 shirts in their choice of style and a fleece vest or jacket
  • Seasonal and part time staff will receive 2 shirts in their choice of color/style
  • After one year staff will receive a $30 uniform allowance annually


  • Pants, shorts, or skirts must be khaki, navy blue, white, grey or black
  • Shorts and skirts should be no more than four inches above the knee
  • The bottom half of the outfit should not be excessively tight such as leggings or yoga pants
  • Pants must be worn in a natural, waistline position (i.e. no showing underwear or sagging below the belt line)
  • Blue jeans are not appropriate for staff working with visitors


Administrative staff and staff not working directly with visitors may opt to wear business casual clothing instead of a uniform. Blue denim/jeans are not considered business casual and should not be worn on Center open days or when interacting with the public.


During times the Center is not open to the public and the staff member is not representing the Center to visitors, staff may dress down and uniforms are not required. Blue jeans may be worn on those days.


On occasion while working at jobs where uniforms may become damaged, staff may choose to wear other logo or no-logo elements.  This may include t-shirts, sweatshirts, or outerwear. These items are for special circumstances and should not be worn on the floor working with visitors. All changes to uniform policy should be cleared by the staff member in charge of uniforms and the supervisor. 


All staff working in visitor areas should wear a name tag. Appropriate stickers are allowed, but must not cover the name.


Baseball style hats with The Wild Center logo may be worn on the floor. Caps must have the bill facing forward.  Winter hats may be worn as appropriate to the season and should be solid color. Café staff must wear head coverings according to food safety rules – style of café hats is at manager approval. No other hats are allowed.  


Generally, shoes should be clean and free from rips or tears. Each department may have its own rules for shoes for safety reasons and such policy will be at the discretion of the department manager.

  • Animal care and facilities departments must wear close toed shoes
  • Flip flops and croc style shoes are not allowed (except food service approved crocs for kitchen workers), but people wearing business casual may wear sandals
  • Sneakers, hiking boots, and trail shoes are all allowed


  • Food service staff are not allowed to have dangling earrings, bracelets or necklaces
  • Jewelry worn should be simple and limited in nature. It should not distract from the appearance of the staff member
  • Accessories such as studded belts, wallet chains, etc. are not allowed
  • Earbuds/headphones should not be worn by floor staff during open hours


  • Food service staff may only have clear nail polish
  • Nails should be clean, short to medium length. Polish and decoration may be worn on the nails as long as it is appropriate and does not interfere with the staff member’s work
  • Makeup will be appropriate for the workplace


  • Earrings should be small to moderate in size. No chains connecting earrings are allowed
  • Small ear gauges are allowed as long as they are job appropriate
  • 1 or 2 small nose studs or rings (including septum piercings) are allowed       
  • A single tongue piercing is allowed if the stud is under 5 mm, the staff member can communicate clearly, and they do not “play” with the tongue ring while at work. Tongue splicing is not allowed
  • A single, 16 gauge or smaller wire eyebrow piercing
  • All piercings need to be job appropriate


  • We allow tattoos for staff, however, we don’t want tattoos to be all the visitor sees when they interact with us 
  • No distracting facial tattoos will be allowed 
  • Any inappropriate tattoos must be covered at all times – those include those tattoos that involve swearing, lewd images, or inappropriate behavior


  • Hair should appear neat and clean and be out of the face 
  • Staff with unconventional or distracting hair styles may be asked to cover their hair during public programs/when interacting with visitors 


  • Food service staff must wear beard nets if applicable
  • Neatly trimmed mustaches and beards are allowed 
  • Other radical styles of facial hair are not allowed (dyed extreme colors, beaded, etc.).



Following CDC recommendations and NY State requirements, Wild Center staff must wear approved commercially manufactured masks, cloth face coverings or a face shield while working for The Wild Center (indoors or outdoors) any time they interact with visitors, and when a distance of six feet cannot be maintained. Face coverings are not required if you are alone and confined to your own personal space however should be worn when utilizing shared spaces (hallways, break rooms, restrooms, etc.) or when you cannot maintain proper distance (six feet) from others.
Failure to follow this protocol will result in a notification of your manager/supervisor and the HR manager. If failure to comply continues further actions will be taken by the manager to ensure safety of our staff.

A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or other type of material that covers an employee’s mouth and nose. The CDC lists five criteria for “cloth face coverings,” which should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.