You make the decision to implement a dress code at your company. You didn’t start this way, but the company has grown, and you think you need to improve your image. A dress code seems like a good way to do it, ensuring that the workers provide a uniform appearance for the customers.
Unfortunately, some of your employees complain that they believe this is a violation of their right to free speech and expression. They should be allowed to wear whatever they want, and they don’t want to adhere to the dress code. Do they have a point, or are you allowed to institute this type of code?
A properly executed dress code can be legal
It is possible for a dress code to be illegal and to violate someone’s rights. But this generally just happens when it only applies to a specific group of people or when it impacts one person more than others.
For example, a dress code denying people the right to wear religious attire would be discriminatory against workers of that religion. A dress code that only applies to women and not men would be discrimination on the basis of gender.
But the dress code can be legal if you execute it properly. All you have to do is design a code that applies to all of your employees in the same way, and then you have to enforce it so that they all have to follow it. If everyone has the same dress code that is expected of them, then it is within your rights to use this code, even when your employees don’t like it.
However, you could find yourself facing some complicated legal situations, so make sure you know exactly what options you have.