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Workplace dress codes touch on a variety of issues, including workplace safety, freedom of speech, personal hygiene, customer relations, religious freedom, the minimum wage and racial and gender stereotypes.

Employers have a number of legitimate reasons for imposing a dress code, but court rulings have limited their options.

In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employment decisions, including workplace policies, may not target one gender. Generally, courts have interpreted that to mean employers may create dress codes that are different for each sex as long as they don’t unduly burden one gender more than the other.

Note: Twenty states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, while others have adopted similar protections. Some gender identity laws specifically ban discrimination based on gender identity “expre...(register to read more)

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