reply to post by GypsK
Employers have the absolute right to implement and enforce nondiscriminatory, consistently
applied dress and grooming standards. Yet, many employers are reluctant to take on dress and
grooming issues, despite the lack of appropriate business attire in the workplace today, while
others simply require employees to wear uniforms.
A corporate dress code should further a legitimate business purpose and incorporate all
applicable health and safety standards (e.g., protective clothing, headgear, goggles, masks, or
close-toed shoes). Both the policy and the consequences of noncompliance should be communicated to all affected employees. Any such standards must be
consistently applied to preclude
discrimination claims that the dress code has been more aggressively enforced on women or a
particular minority group.
In addition, Title VII and state anti-discrimination laws require that employers reasonably
accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of its employees by, for example, allowing affected individuals to wear religious attire — such as
a “hijab” or headscarf — at work. These
requirements must be granted, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship on the
operation of the business (i.e., unless the accommodation imposes more than a negligible economic or non-economic cost, diminishes workplace
efficiency, infringes on the rights of other
employees, jeopardizes workplace safety, or violates an applicable collective bargaining agreement or other legal requirement). Courts have also
required employers to make accommodations
for non-obtrusive dress requirements even if doing so violated a company dress code or, in
some cases, altered a company uniform.
It all comes down to business needs. For example, an employer is not obligated to accommodate an employee’s request to wear a long robe or long
skirt on the assembly line, where
loose garments might get caught in heavy machinery and thus pose a safety hazard. Nor does
a health care employer have to tolerate untrimmed beards, flowing hair or headdresses if such
affectations are incompatible with the business, such as in a hospital or restaurant. In an office
environment, however, employers have been sanctioned by the courts for forbidding religious
dress or head coverings, long hair, beards, or religious symbols
Let me know if you need a policy.
Bottom line.... She is an employee, not saying anything will only hurt your business further. I'm not sure what your specific state laws say, but
you probably cant terminate her based on this reason.... UNLESS you implement a specific policy that addresses this issue.
I'm a Human Resources Director so if you have any questions PM me