Dealing with dress code violations in the workplace as summer sets in?

Patty Goodwin, Director, Surveys

Dress code problems for employers usually come up in the summer when sandals, capris, and shorts come out of the closet. Does your organization have a dress code policy? Do you update your policy based on current fashion trends? Are you making your policy more lenient to boost morale?

Forty nine percent of the respondents in our recent Miscellaneous Benefits survey have formal, written appearance or dress code policies. This is down from 2009, when it was 51 percent. Where does your organization stand up when it comes to causal dress? Here is how some of our respondents stack up:


Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you draft or update your appearance and dress code policies:

·  What is the difference between casual and business casual dress? This category can range from athletic wear to sports coats! Make sure you clearly define this so employees know what’s okay for work and what should be left for the weekend.

·  One size does not fit all. Your dress code should define what is appropriate for your organization.

If it is time for you to add or update your appearance or dress code policy, our Employee Handbook Planning Guide provides sample language and legal considerations.​