A private employer is allowed by law to enforce dress codes on employees. The law allows the employer to rely on the basis of safety for him to impose the regulations. Some of the dress codes the employer can impose as a way of enhancing the safety of employees include jewelry requirements, grooming, and clothing. You should be careful as an employer not to be seen as a discriminator or harasser when imposing these dress codes.
You should as well avoid imposing laws which can endanger or even kill the morale of the workers in your organization.
Dos of Employee Dress Codes and Clothing
Create a policy and distribute it in writing so that all the employees in your organization can see it. The policy should be based on business reasons. Some of the reasons include promotion of the company image and reflecting the company’s culture.
You can impose the rules basing on safety reasons. For example, if a worker works in the kitchen, they should tie their hair back and cover it for hygiene reasons. An industrial worker should tie his hair back to avoid accidents.
The business should clearly describe business casual attire. You can specify if your organization will prefer sweat suits, jeans or any other attire which you consider inappropriate.
The policy should apply to all employees. However, employees who require exceptions for disability reasons should be considered.
Some of the challenges which face employee dress codes and clothing include charges where employees can argue the dress code is discriminating on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender, sex disability, origin, and religion.
Don’ts of Employee Dress Codes and Clothing
If employees are required to dress in a revealing way, they may sue for harassment.
California makes it unlawful to prohibit employees from wearing pants based on gender.
Employees are not required to buy their safety gear. The employer is required to buy the safety gear for the employees at their workplaces. If you have a workplace such as industry where employees are required to wear steel-toed boots, then the company should make plans and pay for the boots to the employees.
An employer is allowed to prohibit body piercing, tattoos and other practices which may go against the organization branding. If you have practices which go against the company’s values or mission, the employer can prohibit them during his work time. Slogans or images offensive to another employee can be as well denied at workplaces. For instance, Confederate flags and slogans can be denied.