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The key thing to remember with a company dress code

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Employment Law |

Dress codes are sometimes controversial because employees don’t want to be told what they can and cannot wear at work. However, they’re also very common. Many businesses will use a simple dress code, like telling employees to wear business-casual outfits: Slacks, skirts, dresses, button-up shirts, etc. Others will give employees branded polo shirts or other such attire that they are supposed to wear when they’re on the clock.

Whether the employees want to use the dress code or not, it is legal for a business owner to implement such a code. But if you’re in this position and considering drafting a dress code, there is one key thing that you need to keep in mind.

It must apply similarly to everyone

The most important factor is that the dress code isn’t discriminatory. It needs to apply to all of your workers in the same fashion. You can’t design it specifically to discriminate against people based on their gender, race, ethnic background, religion and things of this nature.

Remember that there can sometimes be unintended consequences. For instance, there are certain religions that consider head coverings important. Your dress code may technically say that none of the employees at the business are allowed to wear hats or anything else on their heads – meaning it does apply to everyone. But if you create this dress code specifically to discriminate against those within a certain religion – because it will have no realistic impact on the other employees – then that could still be an issue.

As a company owner, it is important to know how to set the dress code up legally at the beginning. You also need to know about all of your legal options, however, if there is a dispute or allegations of discrimination.