How workplaces should handle inappropriate workplace attire

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2018 | Firm News, sexual harassment |

Some California workplaces have dress codes that dictate employees maintain a certain level of professionalism in their style of dress. However, sometimes a worker might wear clothing that management considers too revealing or otherwise unprofessional. If you are someone who has been addressed by superiors on the question of your clothing, be aware that they have the obligation to treat your professionally as they discuss the matter and should not make you uncomfortable.

If you are called to a meeting to address the appropriateness of your work attire, your superior should make the meeting comfortable and not seek to embarrass you. As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission points out, the law forbids a workplace from exposing a worker to unwelcome verbal sexual content. Thus a supervisor should not go into uncomfortable details about how you look in your clothing or otherwise create an intimidating environment. explains that your supervisor should explain that your dress does not meet the standards of the workplace and present to you official company documents that spell out how employees are to dress. Your superior should also steer the meeting toward a productive solution. If you did not dress appropriately because of a mere oversight, your superior should have no problem accepting your explanation if you also vow to dress better in the future.

Be aware that a workplace cannot ban or restrict all forms of clothing. If you are disabled, an unreasonable request to change your clothing could infringe on your rights. Additionally, bans on clothing that represent your religious or native heritage could also constitute an act of discrimination under federal law. also recommends that a supervisor bring in a second co-worker to join the meeting. With another person on hand, you would not be alone with your superior while you discuss a sensitive subject. If the meeting takes an inappropriate turn, the worker would be present to act as a witness.