As an employee, you probably don’t question whether or not your employer is allowed to ask you to follow a dress code. You’ve been to plenty of stores where employees have to wear uniforms. Even if you’re not told to do this, a dress code could be instituted to ask you to wear certain types of clothing. An example of this is how office workers are told to wear business casual attire, even when it’s not directly a uniform.
However, the mere fact that instituting a dress code is not illegal does not mean that your employer won’t violate your rights. There are still ways that this can happen and it’s important to understand what they are.
Does the dress code apply to some individuals but not others?
The problem often comes from the fact that the dress code will be set up to dictate how certain employees dress, but it will not affect the other employees. This unequal balance is a violation of the rights of those being told to follow the policy.
For instance, this could be done along gender lines. Maybe your boss tells the female employees that they have to follow a certain dress code, but the male employees are told that they don’t have a code they have to follow at all.
It could also be done along with religious lines. For instance, maybe employees who follow a certain religion have specific cultural attire that goes with it. A dress code that simply prohibits them from wearing this cultural attire may be discriminatory because the other workers, even though they also have to follow that guideline, are not impacted by the dress code.
If you do believe that your rights have been violated in any way, make sure that you know about all the legal options at your disposal.