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How might dress policies discriminate against employees? 

Many businesses require employees to wear a specific quality of attire. An office job may have employees wear casual clothing while many restaurants have waiters dressed in white, button-up shirts and black pants. 

While it may not directly appear as such, a dress code could discriminate against an employee. Here are several ways an employee may face discrimination because they were forced to comply with dress code policies

Gender-based dress codes

An issue that many people face is dress codes that are gender biased. For example, men may be able to wear any form of casual wear in the workplace while women must wear formal clothing, including skirts and heels. This kind of difference is a form of discrimination that sets preconceived notions about gender roles. Businesses should have dress code policies that are fair for each gender.

Uniforms and religious belief discrimination 

Certain religions require people to wear special garbs. For example, some religions require men to wear hats and headdresses for women. A company may not enforce a dress code on an employee that would cause them to remove their headwear. This action would discriminate against someone’s religion by violating their beliefs. 

Hairstyle and cultural and racial discrimination 

Some dress codes have hygiene policies that require employees to style their hair uniquely. However, hairstyle policies may violate a person’s cultural beliefs and racial background. Furthermore, changing an employee’s hairstyle may be expensive and dangerous to their health. The CROWN Act protects employees from having to change their hairstyle to conform to dress code policies. 

If a business is forcing their employees to follow dress codes that discriminate against them, then employees can learn how they can take legal action and protect their rights. 

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