As long a dress or grooming code doesn't impose heavier requirements on one gender, or require that employees dress in sexually provocative ways, it is likely legal. Every company will have a workplace dress code policy, even if the company says they don’t (ie a casual environment). Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), religion, disability, genetic information, or age (if the employee is at least 40 years old). Women are not required to wear skirts and, in fact, most choose to wear pants. For safety reasons or to create a good image, you may want to make it clear that slippers are not appropriate workplace footwear. Employers can also implement different dress codes on different days, as long as this information is effectively communicated. Following her experience, Thorp created an online petition to ‘make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work’. Workplace dress codes brought to heel by Australia's discrimination laws By Nick Toscano and Workplace Reporter Updated May 12, 2016 — 4.31pm first published at 2.25pm Employers often have multiple objectives for dress codes, seeking to ensure a safe and Dress code discrimination in the workplace High heels jumped straight off the fashion pages and onto the front pages last week when a Receptionist launched an online petition after refusing to comply with her employer’s female grooming policy. South Africa has no formal guidelines or regulations canvassing the often controversial topic of office dress code. “Dress Codes 101,” Connecticut Employment Law Letter 11, no. There should be a statement of expectation in regards to the style and look – whether that’s business attire or … They must be ‘equivalent’, which means that you can’t expect women to wear formal black shoes whilst you allow men to work in their trainers, but that men and women don’t need to have exactly the same workplace dress code. The formality of the workplace dress code is normally determined by the number and type of interactions employees have with customers or clients in the workplace. Dress code. The important thing, whatever dress code you put in place, is that it’s reasonable and non-discriminatory. Discrimination is against the law if a person is treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic, such as his or her race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. • Dress policies for men and women do not have to be identical, but standards imposed should be equivalent. Put another way, an employer in a union context may only impose requirements for employee dress and appearance for legitimate business reasons, such as workplace health and safety, or the company’s image. It is important for employees to understand that their appearance at work is a direct representation of their company and makes a lasting impression — both positive and negative — on customers, company visitors, and other employees. However, federal laws prohibiting gender or religious discrimination may provide protection for an employee who wants to dress a certain way at work. Dress codes and appearance at work are becoming a more salient issue in the workplace, prompted by high profile legal cases and uncertainties amongst employers and employees about what acceptable dress codes and appearance norms constitute. Workplace Dress Codes and Employment Law By Tammy Binford May 15, 2012 HR Hero Line Because styles and new thinking about what’s acceptable attire in the workplace are ever changing, HR professionals continue to struggle with dress codes . • Dress codes can be a legitimate part of an employer’s terms and conditions of employment. Without sacrificing workplace image, employers will benefit from implementing a dress code policy that has some flexibility built into it. If an employer has a dress code, it should modify it to avoid gender stereotypes and enforce it consistently. Employee Net Promoter Score. In hospitals and other medical environments, employees can be asked not to wear jewellery below the elbow. Employers that create and enforce poorly drafted gender-based dress code policies assume the … Let us first talk about some workplace dress code policies. If an employer has a dress code, it should modify it to avoid gender stereotypes and enforce it consistently. There are instances when dress code requirements are a part of the safety system of a job. A lawyer can assess your employer's policy, determine whether it violates the law, and explain your options for protecting your rights. Some dress and grooming rules have been found to be forms of illegal discrimination. Many employers require their employees to follow a dress code. Employees often mention hair, and facial hair, within their dress code policies. You might also want to offer extra help to those that will struggle with the cost, perhaps by offering a small wage advance to cover the immediate expense. Don’t expect people to arrive the next day adhering to the new workplace dress code. For example, if an employee who uses a wheelchair would suffer discomfort from wearing a stiff uniform all day, the employer may have to allow the employee to wear something similar (for example, clothing of the same color and style) that won't cause the same problems. The dress code policy of a company details how employees are required to dress when they are at work. You can’t so easily argue that black high heels are essential, whilst black flat shoes are not appropriate. • A workplace dress code is a set of standards that employers develop about what is appropriate for employees to wear to work. Nevertheless, gender-based dress codes continue to raise concerns in the workplace. For example, men and women can have different dress codes if the dress codes do not put an unfair burden on one gender. Many employers have policies that regulate employee appearance and dress. Employees are expected to present themselves in a professional manner that results in a favorable impression by clients and customers. When Nicola Thorp was recently sent home from work, it was because of her refusal to comply with a company’s dress code request. Prohibiting employment discrimination in the workplace as is often the case that employees in offices don t! 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