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What do you need to know about using dress codes?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2023 | Employment Law

As an employer, you’re interested in using a dress code. However, you do understand that this may be somewhat contentious for your employees. Not all employees are in favor of being told what they have to wear to work.

What you want to avoid, however, is accidentally discriminating against certain employees when you institute this dress code. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

It should apply to everyone

First and foremost, make the dress code apply to all of your employees. Don’t pick a certain group that has to follow the code, while others do not. If it is applied in the same way to all individuals, this drastically reduces the odds that someone will allege that it is discriminatory.

Consider unintended results

While doing this, remember that there can sometimes be unintended results. Maybe you simply want to make a rule saying that people cannot wear anything on their head because it provides a uniform appearance in the workplace. But what if some of your employees have religious styles of dress that they want to adhere to? You may not have been trying to discriminate against them on the grounds of their religion, but it could be interpreted this way.

But it’s not just religion that you want to consider. You also cannot discriminate on the grounds of race, age, gender, disability, pregnancy and much more. Some dress codes need to have specific exceptions.

Setting it up

As you can see, the key is to set your dress code up in a way that ensures it impacts all of your employees equally. Make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take, especially if the dress code does lead to a dispute.

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