A Bespoke Law Firm®

Every business deserves savvy, attentive legal counsel — but not all businesses have the need or the budget for their own legal department. At the Sedhom Law Group, PLLC, we serve as outside general counsel for businesses that want to turn our seasoned guidance into opportunity.

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Employee Benefits
  4.  » Could a dress code cause discrimination?

Could a dress code cause discrimination?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | Employee Benefits

As a business owner, you are certainly not trying to discriminate against any of your employees. But you do have to make decisions and regulations regarding what you want the business to look like and how you want your employees to act. One thing that some employers will do is institute a dress code, whether that is a uniform or just a general type of attire that should be worn in the office.

It is not illegal to do this. It is also not inherently discriminatory. In other words, an employee who simply does not like the dress code may claim that you are discriminating against them in some way, but that doesn’t mean that is actually what’s happening. Employers are allowed to institute dress codes, even when employees are unhappy about it.

What causes a problem?

When you might run into issues is when you have a dress code that isn’t applied evenly to everyone in your workforce or that doesn’t have the same impact on some employees that it has on others. It’s important for the dress code to be applied to everyone so that all employees are getting equal treatment under that set of regulations.

For example, you cannot have a dress code for workers of a certain gender but not for others. You also could not apply a dress code that only affects people of a certain religion or those from a certain ethnic background.

That being said, you could apply a fair dress code and still be accused of discrimination. Then it is important for you to know about the legal options at your disposal.