How companies use dress codes to punish workers

Today, many self-respecting companies are introducing a corporate dress code. It can vary for men and women or include only general principles of office attire. In our country, they don’t attach much importance to this, except in large companies with many employees. In turn, in European and American firms, the dress code has long been familiar. However, not many people know how legal it is to establish a certain framework for employees in general and whether it is possible to use corporate image rules to get rid of an objectionable employee.

How to use a dress code to provoke the dismissal of employees

A glaring case has occurred in the UK recently. Nicola Thorpe, who faithfully worked as a secretary for the benefit of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was fired for non-compliance with corporate clothing rules. The girl made a scandal from this event and posted a call to change the dress code on the parliament website.

The conflict erupted due to the fact that the girl refused to wear high heels in the office. It should be noted that the company may establish any rules for the conformity of clothing to corporate goals in British law. But the girl did not want to wear heels and appealed to a higher authority so that the absurd clause was excluded from the charter of the company.

Important! The British Parliament accepts for consideration only those issues that have collected more than 100 thousand signatures from concerned citizens.

In the very first days after publication, the appeal gained more than 124 thousand votes. In turn, the head of the company said that they had revised the rules of the office dress code. I must say that in Britain the absurd requirements for appearance are often used to get rid of an unwanted employee or simply because of a whim of the bosses. Apparently, this is exactly what happened with Nicola Thorpe.

In our country, such cases also happened. For example, a couple of years ago, the administrator of one of the McDonald's restaurants reprimanded and imposed a fine for the employee being in working uniform on the street before the start of the working day. It turns out that according to the rules of the internal routine this cannot be allowed.

The young man filed a lawsuit, justifying his behavior by the fact that the restaurant administration obliged employees to keep the uniform at home, but did not provide a comfortable room for changing clothes at work. I note that the young man lost the lawsuit. The judiciary deemed the punishment justified.

These cases indicate that the bosses of any company can set a dress code in accordance with their internal convictions and demand its absolute implementation. In most cases, the rules are standard and give sufficient freedom of action in terms of clothing. But there are also cases of strange behavior by company management regarding the clothes of employees at work.

Brief information: what requirements should the dress code of companies

Supervisors should clearly establish in the charter or corporate rules what form of clothing is welcome at the workplace. Are there any restrictions in the color, style and other parameters of the outfit.

All clothes worn by employees of any company is divided into three types:

  • special clothes;
  • uniform;
  • clothing that meets the specific requirements of the manual.

With respect to the first two paragraphs, employers have the right to demand strict implementation of the rules. This is due to the fact that the uniform or overalls most often meet safety precautions or support the corporate style of the company.

In the third paragraph, it is rather difficult to present requirements to an employee. Usually pretty blurry frames are set. For example, for men and women establish a classic style of clothing, where there is a white top and a black bottom. Within these standards, a person can dress as he wants, the main thing is that the rules are followed. You can choose different styles of skirts or blouses to emphasize your individuality, but not to violate generally accepted rules.

I must say that many employers have already moved away from office stamps and give their employees some freedom. For example, quite often it is allowed to wear clothes of different colors, but calm shades. It is also not uncommon for firms to introduce so-called “weekends, ” when all employees can come in the clothes they like.