Dress codes are always a hot topic in HR! Deciding what is allowed, what is not, and what kind of perception a company wants to create with its customers, are all affected by how its employees dress and groom. Employers have been warned against being too strict in their dress code policies and to realize that at times they must make exceptions to their usual rules or preferences to be in compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For instance last year, clothing retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch, learned the hard way (several times) not to discriminate against an employee or applicant whose sincerely held religious beliefs require them to wear hijabs.
To help employers sort out this sometimes personal topic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a practical guide, entitled “Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities” along with a Fact Sheet regarding the same. This guide provides practical advice for employers and employees, and includes a question-and-answer format with numerous examples based on EEOC litigation. It is hoped that this guide will protect employees and applicants from job segregation, workplace harassment, retaliation, and discrimination based on their religious beliefs.
Check out the EEOC’s new publication today!