Dress Codes

News & Analysis as of

Termination for Refusal to Cut Dreadlocks Not Race Discrimination

In recent years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has attempted to expand the definition of race under Title VII. The agency takes the position that race includes cultural characteristics and individual expressions...more

Men without hardhats: where freedom of religion loses out to workplace safety

Freedom of religion and the duty to accommodate within the workplace context is a highly important issue in Québec given the discrimination provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Québec...more

Employer Wins Dreadlocks Deadlock: Three Things To Know About Latest Court Decision

A federal appeals court recently ruled that a woman rejected from a job because she refused to cut her dreadlocks could not proceed with a race discrimination claim against the employer. The decision highlights the...more

To tattoo or not to tattoo, that is the question

A recent survey reported on by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) revealed that young people believe their chance of success in an interview could be affected by their tattoos. This is despite recent...more

Hairstyle Is Not a Protected Category but Sexual Orientation Likely Is

Several recent decisions have opened the door to further scrutiny regarding discrimination and the basis for a finding of discriminatory conduct by an employer. These decisions continue to show the volatility of...more

Eleventh Circuit Declines EEOC’s Invitation To Expand Race To Include Personal Expression Or Cultural Characteristics

Seyfarth Synopsis: After a black woman’s employment offer was rescinded because she refused to cut off her dreadlocks in violation of a company grooming policy, the EEOC sued under Title VII for discrimination on the basis...more

WTF, NLRB? (WTF = “Where’s The Fairness?”)

In yet another blow to employers, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge recently upheld the right of employees who regularly work with customers to wear offensive union buttons prominently displaying the...more

The EEOC’s Defeat In Detroit: Pants, Skirts, Gender Identity, And Religion

Last week, I reported that summary judgment was granted against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its transgender discrimination lawsuit against R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, linked to the decision (but...more

EEOC Loses Landmark Transgender Discrimination Case

Seyfarth Synopsis: In one of the first two ever transgender discrimination cases brought by the EEOC, a federal court in Michigan granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment, finding the employer met its burden in...more

Dealerships On Pins And Needles After Latest Union Pin Decision

Doug Niedermeyer is not the most sympathetic character in American film, but any dealership manager faced with employees who want to wear union pins, buttons, or other insignia might understand his frustration. To many...more

Brilliant (but not bedazzled) baristas

A ton of us are drinking coffee. I literally have a paper cup full of “life juice” next to my keyboard as I write this post. Coffee is not the reason I get out bed, but it is certainly a large contributor to me not staying...more

Employment Law - June 2016 #3

LA Doubles Down on Sick Leave, Minimum Wage Increase - Why it matters - Already facing new California employment-related requirements—including the adoption of mandatory sick leave and an uptick in the minimum...more

Dress code banning Muslim headscarf justified?

In the case of Achbita and another v. G4S Secure Solutions NV [2016] CJEU C-157/15, the Advocate General has given her opinion on whether a private employer could prevent a female Muslim employee from wearing a headscarf at...more

School’s Out! So What’s With This Summer Employment Law Quiz?

No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks . . . except for one little quiz on employment law issues that come up during the summer. Don’t worry about your score – I’m told that Teacher already has...more

School Restriction on Decorating Graduation Cap Upheld

It is graduation season and issues concerning graduation conduct and dress come to the forefront during this time of the year. A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: May 2016 #3

Last week, news broke that Nicola Thorp, a UK temp worker assigned to PwC, was sent home for violating her temp agency’s dress code by failing to wear high heels. Portico, the agency, explained that the policy requiring...more

California’s New Guidance & FAQs for Employers of Transgender Employees

On February 17, 2016, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced that it was issuing a guidance on how to comply with the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which was geared toward...more

To wear, or not to wear: that is the policy

Workplace dress codes are once again in the spotlight. British Airways' dress code policy came under scrutiny for requiring female cabin crew to wear skirts. Two dress code policies of employers in France and Belgium caused...more

The New California Regulations, Part II: The Transgender Workforce

The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved regulations drafted by the California Fair Employment and Housing Council. These new regulations, covering the entire gamut of employment law topics within the...more

With Adverse Employment Action Absent, Court Denies EEOC’s Motion For Reconsideration In Religious Accommodation Case

In an important EEOC case involving the intersection of company dress code policies and the rights of employees seeking religious accommodations, following a grant of both parties’ summary judgment motions in part, which we...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - March 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: Call me old-fashioned, but I have become increasingly disappointed in how the teachers at my school have been dressing. It is not uncommon for male teachers to wear ratty work shirts and jeans, and...more

DFEH Releases New Guidance Regarding Transgender Employees

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) recently issued new guidance for employers to prevent discrimination against transgender employees, who are protected under California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act...more

DFEH Issues Guidelines Regarding Transgender Employees

On February 17, 2016, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) issued guidelines on transgender employee rights. These guidelines address what questions employers can ask transgender employees (during...more

NYC Offers Guidance on Avoiding Discrimination Based on Gender Identity

The guidance may help employers nationally comply with the trend toward protecting transgender individuals’ rights. Despite their increasingly positive representation in US media and culture (e.g., Caitlyn Jenner and the...more

Preparing for the Oscars: Can You Retaliate Against Your Worst-Dressed Employees?

The door opens. All eyes turn to watch the smiling woman as she strides across the carpet. Wait, is she wearing what I think she’s wearing? Oh my. What do you do when the outfit your employee is wearing makes your...more

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