Many businesses use dress codes. In some cases, employees are given a specific uniform to wear. In other cases, they are told just to wear business professional attire.
This can be legal, but it can also be a violation of your rights. As an employee, you need to know if the dress code you’re being told to follow is actually permissible or not.
Does it apply to everyone?
The first question to ask is whether or not the dress code applies to all employees. If it targets only a certain group of employees, then this could be seen as discrimination. For example, if all men are not given a dress code but all women are told they have to wear a certain type of outfit, this could be gender or sex discrimination.
But even if the dress code technically applies to everyone, there are ways in which it could still be discriminatory. It may target an aspect of someone’s dress that only applies to a certain group.
An example of this would be if there are members of a certain religion in your workplace, and they have a specific type of outfit that they tend to wear. If the dress code simply says that they can to wear their religious attire, even if it also says the rest of the employees are bound by the same code, it’s still discriminatory because it clearly impacts them more.
What options do you have?
If you do find yourself in this position, make sure that you understand your rights as an employee and the legal options you have to fight back against discrimination.