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Can your company use a dress code?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Business Formation & Planning

If you’re thinking about implementing s dress code at your company, it is fair to say that some employees may not be in favor of it. They may even feel that it is discriminatory. They would like to be able to wear whatever they want, and they feel like it infringes on their rights to be told they have to wear something else – whether it’s just a general guideline like “business professional attire” or a more strict dress code like giving employees specific uniforms.

But do these employees have a point? Are they being discriminated against, or are you allowed to use whatever dress code you want as the owner of the company?

Implementing the dress code properly

This can be a tricky issue. First and foremost, dress codes themselves are not illegal. You can use them. Even if your employees don’t like it or do not want to follow the dress code, you’re still allowed to use it in your place of business. Many retail locations will have all of their employees wear the same color shirt, for example.

But it is important to avoid actual discrimination. For instance, if there’s a dress code for women but not one for men, that could be discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. If there’s a dress code that realistically only affects people of a certain religion, that could also be a case of discrimination. The dress code has to be fair and apply equally to everyone at the business in order to be legal.

Whether you’re setting up your company or working your way through a dispute, it’s quite important to know exactly what legal steps to take.