Is it legal for an employer to force a new dress code?

UPDATED: Dec 27, 2011

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Is it legal for an employer to force a new dress code?

I’ve been working at a call center for over 18 months and they are bringing out a new dress code next month. I will need to wear a shirt, tie, dress pants and shoes. I’m a tech guy and I currently wear polo shirts carpenters pants and sneakers. These clothes have not only been perfectly fine up until now but far more practical for my line of work. Can they force me to wear inappropriate clothing for my job?

Asked on December 27, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that provides otherwise? Is this dress code a violation of company policy? Is there some form of actionable discrimination at play in this situation? If not, then I'm afraid that you had better go shopping.

In an "at will"employment relationship an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of the workplace. This includes enforcing an dress code. For their part, an employee can choose to work for an employer or not.

Noter:  If you refuse to abide by this new policy you can be terminated, with or without notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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