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Is your company’s dress code policy enforceable?

Federal law does not necessarily dictate the way your company in Florida addresses the appearance of your employees. However, the Houston Chronicle points out that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does have something to say about the way that you apply dress codes. To avoid employee harassment charges, you may want to familiarize yourself with the ways that a worker may feel you are violating his or her rights on the job.

Many religions require their adherents to observe unique dress codes, and federal law protects employees who follow these. But, there are situations in some workplaces where the obligation to the religious belief may cause a safety concern. For example, loose clothing worn in close proximity to certain types of machinery may put a person in danger of being pulled into the equipment. You may be able to enforce your dress code without violating the law in this type of case, but you must be consistent in following your policy.

To make it easier to demonstrate your compliance, you may want to ensure that your dress code policy is well defined, and that it clearly meets the specific needs of your company for optimal operations. Particularly when employees interact with the public, you may be able to more closely define the parameters of what constitutes professional appearance or the image the business seeks to portray. While these are a few examples of potential legal issues that may arise due to dress code policies, they do not represent an exhaustive list. So, this information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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