Are Your Employees Dressed for Success this Summer?

Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Business Management, Business News, Legal Matters for Business [ 0 Comments ]

As the summer sun continues to bake a large swath of the country, employers often find this time of year a little more challenging to do business in.

Not only are employees and customers more apt to be taking vacations, but your office dress code may be wilting a little bit as employees look to push the envelope.

As a business owner, are you seeing a little too much skin, too many tattoos and other fashion distractions in the workplace this summer? If that’s the case, it may be time to hold a meeting or send out a memo reminding employees of their responsibilities when it comes to representing the company both in and outside the office, especially if important sales are involved.

The first and most important message to get across to your staff is that you’re running the show, so remind them to leave certain items at home or cover them up when they’re on the clock.

As an employer, you may be hesitant to enforce dress code rules for fear of a possible legal claim; the law is actually on your side for the most part when it comes to work attire and federal discrimination laws. Employers do have discretion to ask employees to cover up tattoos or body piercings, especially in cases where the employee will be meeting with clients.

In order to get the message across to your employees, get them up to date with the following dress code reminders:

  • Employees are expected to create a professional appearance towards clients, vendors and the general public who may come to your office. Employees should also be appropriate with their clothing as it relates to co-workers as to not offend anyone;
  • Employees are expected to wear clothing, hairstyles and accessories that will not create a workplace hazard, i.e. long hair or necklaces, bracelets etc. when coming in contact with office equipment (especially machinery), where an employee may be injured;
  • While warmer weather is an opportunity to go a little less on clothing that does not translate into party time. Women should not be wearing shirts or shorts that bear too much skin, while men should not be wearing tank tops to work to demonstrate how their gym sessions are progressing. It is good for an employer to be firm in noting they do not want workers wearing shorts, flip flops and other summer wear while on the clock.

While much of this sounds like common sense, you would be surprised how many times an employee will get called into the HR office and be told they need to go home and change their look.

Employers can ease back restrictions to a degree during the summer, as employees oftentimes seem to have their minds more on the weather and vacations than they do working.

That being said, remind employees why they’re at work in the first place.

If they don’t like the rules you have in play for dress codes, they’re always free to quit or be dismissed, giving them all the free time at the beach they want.

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