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From the length of one’s hair, to the number and location of visible tattoos, to recognizing gender nonconformity style, to creating a summer dress code in the workplace, employers are facing an increased need to determine their organization’s culture and policies, as well as following federal and state laws.
How does an organization balance employees’ rights to express themselves with the organization’s rights to determine its legitimate business needs while maintaining an inclusive work environment?
The pitfalls for employers are many. More businesses are likely to face these issues especially now that research is confirming these types of biases exist broadly across U.S workplaces. The potential for organizational errors are plentiful.
Organizations expect employees to use sound judgment in their dress and grooming, however, what if the employee’s sense of professional wear and grooming varies from the organizations?
After all, types of self-expression have become more commonplace with society demonstrating more acceptances in people’s choices of self-expression-shouldn’t the workplace reflect this change in social rules too? Religious dress, casual wear at work and dress that defies gender stereotypes are the areas that are the most challenging for employers.
These issues and others will be discussed.
Dress Code in the workplace is receiving a fair amount of attention in the courts these days. There have been a number of precedent setting lawsuits dealing with dress codes’ requirements and how those requirements, even inadvertently, discriminate against potential and current employees based on their gender, religion, and race, to name a few.
It is critical that human resources professionals and managers understand the importance of a discriminatory free dress code to ensure all job candidates and employees are treated fairly and equitably.
Dr. Susan Strauss RN Ed.D. is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. Her specialty areas include education and workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying; organization development, and management/leadership development. Her clients are from healthcare, education, business, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector. Susan conducts bullying and harassment investigations, works as an expert witness for education and workplace harassment and bullying lawsuits, and coaches those managers and employees that need assistance in stopping their harassing or bullying behavior.
Dr. Strauss has authored over 30 books, book chapters, and articles. Susan has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News, and other national and international television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles such as the Times of London, Lawyers Weekly, and Harvard Education Newsletter.
Susan has presented at international conferences in Botswana, Egypt, Thailand, Israel, Palestine, Bali, Lebanon, and the U.S., and conducted sex discrimination research in Poland. She has consulted with professionals from other countries such as Israel, England, Australia, Canada and St. Maartin. In addition to nursing education, she has her masters in community health and holds a doctorate in organizational leadership.View all trainings by this speaker