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Can I Wear This? Balancing Personal Appearance Policies and the LawPolicies and the LawImpacted by the Pandemic

For many nonprofits, adopting a personal appearance policy can be an effective way to ensure that employees present a professional image to clients, donors and nonprofit partners.  However, before drafting a policy, you should be aware of legal restrictions on employers’ regulation of workplace attire and personal grooming.  For example: Can you require a male employee to be clean shaven if he wears a beard for religious reasons?  May an employee who is active in the union movement and wears a pro-union hat to work every day be required to comply with a no-hat policy?

While federal and state laws generally allow employers to regulate employee appearance, a written policy will not protect employers against claims that the policy infringes on other rights protected by law.  Two new resources from the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center provide the answers to the questions above, and many others.

  • Our legal alert provides an important overview of the key D.C. and federal laws governing such policies and includes guidelines for drafting a policy.
  • Our upcoming webinar on employee personal appearance policies will cover the same material in a PowerPoint presentation while offering the opportunity to ask in-depth questions of an employment law expert from the firm of Piliero Mazza.  The webinar will be held February 11, 2016, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.  To register, please click here.