Tattoos, Sandals, Yarmulkes, Dress and Appearance: Increasing Legal Challenges for Employees and Employers


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Duration
60 Mins
Level
Intermediate
Webinar ID
70058

From the length of one’s hair, to the number and location of visible tattoos, to recognizing gender non-conformity 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.

Why Should You Attend

The 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.

Objectives of the Presentation 

 » EEOC laws regarding dress code in the workplace
 » Body art
 » International dress
 » National Labor Review Board's take on the dress
 » What should be considered in writing your dress code?
 » Religious dress
 » Sex stereotyping dress
 » Tattoos
 » Political dress

Areas Covered in the Session

 » To discuss legal issues surrounding appearance and dress code in the workplace
 » To list specific elements of a dress and appearance policy
 » To explore the role of unconscious bias and stereotypes in discrimination through dress codes
 » To identify prevention tactics to ensure employees are judged by their performance and not by stereotypes

Who Will Benefit 
 » Managers throughout the organization
 » Directors throughout the organization
 » Human Resources generalists, managers, directors

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Dr. Susan Strauss

Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant, and recognized expert on workplace and school harassment and bullying. She conducts harassment and bullying investigations and functions as an expert witness in harassment and bullying lawsuits. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sectors.

Dr. Strauss has conducted research, written over 30 books, book chapters, and journal articles on harassment, bullying, and related topics. She has been featured on television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles. Susan has a doctorate in organizational leadership. She is a registered nurse, has a bachelor’s degree in human services and counseling, a master's degree in community health, and a professional certificate in training and development.

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