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How a dress code could violate your rights

Many employees do not enjoy having a dress code that they need to follow. However, most dress codes are completely legal. An employer can provide the workers with a uniform or they can just give them general guidelines, such as saying that office workers need to have “business casual” attire.

That said, there are some ways in which a dress code could actually violate your rights. It all depends on how your employer sets it up. So it may be wise to take a look and see if the dress code is being applied correctly or not.

Does the dress code discriminate against a certain group?

One of the biggest problems with dress codes is when they are discriminatory. They impact one group of workers more drastically, rather than affecting all workers to the same degree.

For example, perhaps you follow a certain religion where you are supposed to wear a specific type of ornamental jewelry. This is important to you, and it doesn’t hinder your ability to perform the duties of your job.

But then your employer makes a dress code saying that no one is allowed to wear this religious jewelry. Technically, yes, this type of dress code does apply to all workers. The employer may believe that means it’s not discriminatory. But it is clearly going to have a bigger impact on religious workers – like you – and will not affect non-religious coworkers at all. In this sense, it could be religious discrimination.

This is just one example of how an unequal or unfair dress code can be problematic in the workplace. If you’re being discriminated against for any reason, take the time to look into your legal options.

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