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How dress codes can be implemented correctly

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Employment Law

Employers and employees sometimes run into friction regarding dress codes. An employer may want to implement a dress code so that they can create the right type of atmosphere at their business. Employees may feel that it is too restrictive, and they want to be allowed to wear whatever they choose.

Dress codes aren’t illegal, and they can be used. But it’s still important to address this friction because there are ways to use dress codes properly and avoid such disputes. Additionally, if used incorrectly, a dress code could actually violate an employee’s rights. It’s important for employers to know how to avoid doing so.

The dress code has to apply equally to all

The big thing to keep in mind is that a dress code must be fair. It has to be in place for all workers, and it has to apply to them all equally. If it does not, then employees may feel they are being discriminated against.

For example, an employer cannot dictate that all female employees have a dress code, while all male employees are allowed to wear anything that they would like. An employer also can’t prohibit wearing certain religious garments if the rule only targets employees who follow a specific religion. Likewise, it would be unfair to have a dress code that only applies to workers who are over 40, while younger workers are allowed to wear anything they would like.

The key is to look at protected classes and to ensure that the dress code doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. As long as it applies to everyone and it is reasonable in nature, then it can be used. When disputes arise, those involved need to understand their legal options.

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