Summer Dress Codes: Too Hot for Compliance?
Summer Dress Codes: Too Hot for Compliance?

Summer Dress Codes: Too Hot for Compliance?

_From the HR Pros of the HR Support Center

According to a recent HR Support Center poll on spring and summer dress code policies, most businesses do not alter their dress code policies during these months. Out of all the respondents, 63% indicated no change during the spring and summer months from the company's standard dress code, while 9% indicated that employees are not required to wear professional clothing during these months.

There are four major implications to be aware of with regards to workplace dress code policies in the summer:

1. Health concerns: physical and mental stress

During the hot summer months, it is important to consider the health of employees who will be performing work outside or in a facility without air conditioning. The company may need to alter its dress code in order to reduce the physical stress of employees working outdoors, as physical stress can lead to reduced cognitive ability and heat-related injuries and illnesses. In addition, some employees may be protected under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) which may require reasonable accommodations.

2. Productivity levels

The productivity levels within the business may be reduced if employees are dressed in a manner that is distracting to themselves or others. Therefore, it is important to ensure that dress codes allow for maximum productivity. For example, if an employee is wearing a baseball cap during an office meeting, others may find that to be a distraction.

3. Safety concerns: injury and accident prevention

There are several safety concerns to consider if dress codes are not properly enforced. Even in extreme temperatures, it is critical that employees wear all recommended and required safety equipment. For example, those in a construction field should not wear sandals; those in the medical field should avoid exposing unprotected skin and wearing loose accessories around hazardous chemicals or equipment such as syringes and wheelchairs.

4. Image and professionalism

Even in the summer months, it is important that the company portray a professional business image. For example, allowing pilots to wear swim trunks could certainty result in decreases in customer confidence levels.

It is encouraged to write comprehensive policies that cover the business dress code. The management team must consider productivity, safety and regulatory compliance when writing the dress code policy. It is vital to consider whether the dress code could lead to charges of discrimination. A workplace dress code for summer months should not discriminate against members of a protected class under civil rights laws such as gender discrimination, religious discrimination and race discrimination. It is important to stay consistent for all exceptions to the policy and to apply consequences for all violators of the policy. Considering these factors will ensure the company's dress code maximizes summer productivity and minimizes the potential for legal exposure.

Want more helpful answers to your HR questions? Sign up for Paycor’s HR Support Center to access more HR resources and guides. Or, upgrade to HR On-Demand to get personalized answers and advice from an HR professional. Contact us to learn more.

More to Discover

HR

Ban the Box: State-by-State

Ban the Box: State-by-State

One in Three American Adults Have a Criminal History In the past, having a criminal history prevented some potentially great job candidates from being hired, regardless of how long ago the crime took place, how minor the infraction was, or how good of a fit they might be for the role. When you consider that an estimated 70 million Americans—one in three Americans who are of working age—have some kind of criminal history, it’s not difficult to understand how requiring a squeaky-clean record could become problematic for some jobs. Even People Without Convictions Can Be Discriminated Against Many criminal background checks fail to distinguish between someone being arrested or charged and actually being convicted. Potential employees are...

HR

Are Domestic Partner Benefits Mandatory?

Are Domestic Partner Benefits Mandatory?

A Brief History: Only What You Need to Know The roots of domestic partner benefits stretch way back to 1982, when the City of San Francisco enacted legislation to offer health insurance coverage to the same or opposite sex partners of its unmarried employees. “Domestic partner” soon became the official legal term used by insurers and private and public employers. Also, in 1982, New York City newspaper The Village Voice became the first private employer to offer domestic partner health care benefits. Many other companies and municipalities followed suit. Fast forward to more than 30 years later when, in 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that domestic partner benefits apply to both same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex couples....

Managing Contractor Payroll: What You’ll Need to Know

Managing Contractor Payroll: What You’ll Need to Know

As a business owner, it’s a given that you’re expected to pay your employees accurately and on time. But something almost as important is making sure you don’t pay your contract or freelance workers the same way you pay employees. Let’s clarify. Independent contractors are not classified as employees by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), so instead of being paid through your payroll system, they’re paid separately as a business expense. When your business requires hiring both employees and independent contractors, it’s important that you understand the distinctions between the two. Why? Three letters: IRS. FLSA – How to Classify Employees and Independent Contractors The IRS looks at the business relationship your company has with a...

Case Study: FRG

Case Study: FRG

A poor implementation experience, a lack of consistent customer service and a time-consuming payroll process led FRG to find a more dependable HR & payroll partner. Now with Paycor, FRG can track critical documents for each brand and employee, receive notifications when documents are set to expire and store them within one, accessible system. Explore the case study and learn how Paycor helped FRG save 15+ hours processing payroll each pay period with a streamlined process and enhanced user experience.