Say "Yes" to the Dress Code?
What employees wear to work is changing. Some employers have relaxed standards to allow more casual attire; others have abandoned dress codes altogether. Employers concerned about workplace attire may be reluctant to go without a dress code. Assuming you are such an employer, what should you include
Do:a. Provide employees with guidance regarding what is acceptable.
b. Address violations with individuals who do not comply rather than scolding everyone with a company wide announcement or email.
c. Enforce the policy uniformly. Don't let certain people slide.
d. If there are seasons during or days on which the dress code is suspended, be sure to specify those days.
e. Prohibit wearing any clothing that has words, terms, pictures, symbols, or images that may be offensive to co-workers or customers.
f. Consider if you want to address wearing fragrances or grooming in this policy.
g. If you wish to have employees dressing in more formal attire, ask them to wear "business attire" rather than specifying suits and ties or dresses and pantyhose.
h. Consider exceptions to policies as accommodations if an employee articulates a specific problem based on culture, race, disability, religion, or another protected status. For example, you might excuse an African-American male employee from a policy prohibiting facial hair if he explains that he has a physical sensitivity to shaving.
i. Allow employees who are transgendered to dress in the fashion that they feel expresses their preferred gender identity.
Don'ta. Provide a clothing allowance or reimbursement plan to only employees of one sex.
b. Provide different clothing rules for men and women.
c. Require high heel shoes, skirts, or dresses for female employees. Women are entitled to comfortable shoes and pants in the workplace.
d. Zero in on articles of clothing that only one sex wears. For example, prohibit wearing athletic clothing or work out attire rather than banning tennis skirts or yoga pants.
e. Require a dress code that doesn't reasonably relate to the job or a business purpose.
f. Have requirements in a dress code that are unfair to people with disabilities.
g. Require employees to dress in a revealing or sexually provocative way unless you would like a sexual harassment suit.
h. Tell an employee to dress in a way that is either more feminine or more masculine.