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New employee in skimpy attire: Can we create a dress code without singling her out?

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in HR Management,Human Resources

Q. Our company is very casual and has no dress code. A recent hire is a young woman who wears low-cut tops and short skirts. Our staff is predominantly male and this has become a distraction and frequent conversation topic. How can we implement a dress code now without appearing to single anyone out? — Jeanne, Florida

A. Your best bet is to publish something that reminds all workers that no matter how casual the workplace, it is a workplace, and people must dress in a modest, professional manner. You might want to give a few examples of what is and what is not appropriate, making sure that you focus on attire for both men and women.

Although you do want to make sure any published policy does not appear to single her out, there is no reason you cannot take her aside to talk. Tell her she must dress in a manner that is appropriate for her profession. There’s no need to discuss whether her clothing is causing comment.

Also, tell her you will send her home to change if she does not comply. Follow through as necessary. If the advice is delivered respectfully, a young worker who hasn’t worked in a professional setting may appreciate it.

Online resource: You can download two sample dress code policies here.

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