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Your safety rules outweigh employee ‘personal appearance’ rights.

by on
in Human Resources

Company dress codes will withstand any legal challenge if they're gender-neutral and involve a legitimate business reason. Recent example: A county prohibited its bus drivers from wearing skirts, citing the safety concerns associated with helping disabled passengers on ramp lifts. When an employee protested the policy and wore a skirt, she was suspended. She sued, claiming the policy violated her First Amendment right to free expression. A federal appeals court tossed out her case, saying the company's safety reasons were enough proof to mandate its pants-only policy stand. (Zalewska v. Sullivan County, No. 02-7099, 2nd Cir., 2003)

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