Creating an office dress code

9 Feb

Dress codes must apply evenly across both genders.

Dress codes have been changing lately. This is partly because of a renewed focus on them by the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and partly because people have been dressing down more often.

Offices that don't have a formal dress code in place run the risk of people not paying as much attention to how they dress as they ought. Having an overly restrictive dress code may result in violations of labor laws. For example, any religious clothing such as head​ scarves must be allowed, and the NLRB has been looking hard at companies that don't permit pro-union buttons, Business Management Daily reported. Dress codes should be equal for both men and women, although the two groups don't have to wear the same clothes. If women have to dress conservatively, then men must also dress in the same fashion.

Those in charge of HR management should look hard at what is fundamentally necessary for employees to wear in the workplace to look professional enough for the job. People in creative occupations sometimes don't have the same dress code as sales personnel who spend their time with client-facing meetings. Other people might need to wear a uniform or protective gear. It is OK for the various parts of a company to wear different clothes, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. For example, McDonald's requires people who work in its restaurants to wear a uniform, but this is not necessary in the corporate offices of the business. Furthermore, the people in a factory producing French fries for McDonalds must wear protective clothes.

Establishing a looser dress code policy
When establishing a dress code for work, it may be easiest to have everyone wear business casual. This way, everyone basically knows what is appropriate and what is not. Complications can arise when there is a less formal dress code or if the dress code is not enforced. This is also true when it comes to establishing an informal dress code for men and women that is equal for both groups. How does one determine the exact informality of one clothing item versus another? Generally, there must be also be a reason for why a dress code is what it is. This reason doesn't have to be complex, but according to Acas, a U.K. HR website, a dress code existing without any reasons behind it may open itself to further liabilities. Make sure to enforce the dress code equally among all members of the staff.

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