Q. We have a policy requiring all machine operators to wear pants. Can we discipline a machinist who claims that she has converted to a religion that requires her to wear dresses? — S.J., Michigan
A. Long before the Occupational Safety and Health Act or Title VII, there was a hard and fast industrial rule: no loose clothing around moving machinery. An operator who wants to wear a dress under such conditions had better find a new job. There is no court that would require a manager to give such an accommodation.