In summertime, there are few things that employers need to remember when letting employees dress down to deal with the heat. While some workplaces encourage less formal attire during the summer months, the dress code requirements must be equal for everyone. An employer may open itself up to a discrimination lawsuit if its dress requirements are more restrictive to one gender than the other. Employers should also be careful when requiring employees to dress a certain way because an employee’s religious or ethical beliefs may conflict with the employer’s requirements.
Employer should follow a few simple rules to ensure that summer dress codes do not get out of hand and become a potential liability.
- Be sure to create a dress code that is well thought out and does not favor one sex, religion, or race.
- Ensure that the code is clear and free of any ambiguity and that all employees have seen and understand what is expected of them.
- Allow for some reasonable flexibility to accommodate individual employees, but do not allow obvious dress code violations to go unaddressed, this may be seen as favorable treatment.
By following these simple steps, an employer can allow its employees to dress for the season without increasing the risk for discrimination claims.
Photo credit: Microsoft