Playing the Ultimate Game of Chess: Putting All the Pieces Together Before Trial Brings Attorney and Client to... What Is the Average Pay Raise?: When you employ law firm employees, the question often arises about what is the kind of... One Simple Calendar Trick High Achievers Don’t Want You to Know: Billionaires, millionaires, and the middle class all have one thing in common: 24 hours... Pro Tip for Lawyers: 3 LinkedIn Business Development Resolutions that will Pay off in 2019: Like me, you probably have a list of goals that will help you achieve your personal and... Lawyers, Nail that Meeting with Your Prospective Client: Aprospective client has identified three lawyers whom she believes possess the expertise... California Case Summaries Monthly™ Organized Succinct Summaries of New California Civil Cases: CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT - Landlord-Tenant - Dr. Leevil, LLC v. Westlake Health Care... Is Succession Planning on Your Firm’s 2019 To-Do List?: Succession and succession planning are hot topics in the legal profession. One statistic... 2019 New Year’s Resolutions Attorneys Don’t Want Their Bosses to Know About: 2018 was a crazy year in the law firm universe, filled with associate raises, summer and... Community News – March 2019: Craig DeWitt Higgs, partner at Higgs Fletcher and Mack, passed away peacefully at home on... Defending Those Who Defend Us All: Retired Marine JAG Officer Phillip Stackhouse Fights for Service Members and Contractors...
Executive Presentations-468x60-1

Hot Weather Means Dress Codes Are a Hot Topic for Employers

Summer brings to all of us a spirit of relaxation, of freedom, and of fun. While work ethics remain strong (hopefully), attitudes may change regarding issues such as dress codes. The already wide latitude available under many “casual attire” policies can be stretched further by employees wearing dresses with shorter hemlines, jeans with “fashionable” holes, Hawaiian-style shirts, tank tops, flip-flops, and other revealing or “super-casual” clothes. Do you go with the flow or take a hard-line approach?

Like all employment policies, dress codes are written to inform employees of the employer’s workplace expectations. The most effective policies are those that provide clear guidance to employees. However, particularly when it comes to dress codes that approve “business casual” attire, summertime causes many employees to focus on the “casual” aspect rather than the “business” aspect. “Business casual” generally refers to dressing comfortably yet professionally and neatly. Employees’ broad interpretation of the dress code policy during the summer months can create problems for employers. For one, the existence of more revealing clothes increases the risk of inappropriate comments and other conduct that can potentially give rise to claims of sexual harassment. Moreover, some employees might be offended by the revealing nature of some summer wear. Another concern among many organizations is that a relaxed approach to employees’ attire could lead to an unprofessionally relaxed approach to customer service, collaboration among employees, and other aspects of work. These problems would adversely affect public image and workplace relationships. What can you do to reduce the risk of such problems? Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Decide whether your current dress code policy needs more detail to provide employees with proper guidance about what is and is not acceptable during the summer months. If necessary, define “business casual” and, if appropriate, prohibit employees from wearing T-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, and other overly-casual attire.
  • Clearly communicate the dress code policy and the reasons behind it. If flip-flops, cutoff shorts, and T-shirts are not appropriate in your workplace, state that in a professional written memo and inform employees during staff meetings.
  • Remind employees of your organization’s policy against harassment. In doing so, it can be helpful to specify that comments about an employee’s clothing constitute inappropriate conduct that violates the policy.
  • Enforce the dress code in a consistent manner. Make sure that employees know the consequences for non-compliance.
  • Notwithstanding the detailed nature of the policy, application of the dress code should be flexible enough to account for cultural or religious obligations of some employees.

For any company that values a positive public image and professionalism among its employees, a dress code makes good business sense. Proper implementation of a sufficiently detailed policy will help you navigate the additional dress code challenges that come with summer.

David Monks

Monks is a recognized expert in the field of employment law, particularly difficult issues faced by employers and employees. He is a past president of the San Diego Society for Human Resource Management and a member of the National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Monks has litigated cases in the areas of employment law, public entity defense, insurance bad faith and personal injury. He has successfully resolved disputes involving claims of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, defamation, breach of contract and Labor Code violations. He has spoken and written extensively on employment and labor issues and has been published in the San Diego Daily Transcript Law Journal, Employment Practices Liability Consultant and Los Angeles Daily Journal.

More Posts

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
www.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF   

Filed Under: Featured StoriesPractice Management

Tags:

About the Author: Monks is a recognized expert in the field of employment law, particularly difficult issues faced by employers and employees. He is a past president of the San Diego Society for Human Resource Management and a member of the National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Monks has litigated cases in the areas of employment law, public entity defense, insurance bad faith and personal injury. He has successfully resolved disputes involving claims of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, defamation, breach of contract and Labor Code violations. He has spoken and written extensively on employment and labor issues and has been published in the San Diego Daily Transcript Law Journal, Employment Practices Liability Consultant and Los Angeles Daily Journal.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

  • Polls