How to Deal With Summer Attire Issues

Written by Robert G. Brody and Rebecca Goldberg on June 19, 2012

It’s summer, and that means many employees may begin to wear more casual and sometimes more revealing clothing.  Here are a few tips to keep your workplace professional and comfortable:

  • Decide whether your dress code can be loosened for summer.  This decision will depend a great deal on your industry and the image you wish to maintain for customers or vendors who visit your workplace.
  • Don’t sidestep the issue.  If you are implementing a different dress code for the summer, distribute a memo with the new guidelines.  Be sure to indicate when the regular policy goes back into effect.  If you choose to maintain your year-round policy, a reminder memo may be appropriate as the temperature rises and you find issues are arising.
  • Keep your workplace comfortable.  Employees won’t be pleased they have to wear suits if the office is a sauna.
  • Don’t flip-flop.  If you want your dress code to be followed, be consistent in its application.
  • Respond appropriately to dress code violations.  Consider the New Jersey woman suing her employer, claiming she was fired because she was “too hot” for the workplace.  She claims her employer asked her to tape down her breasts because she was dressed too provocatively.  While employees do not have a right to dress inappropriately for work, this response is asking for trouble.  A more appropriate response would be to ask the employee to wear more professional clothing (as outlined in your policy) and to avoid any comments about the employee’s body.

Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on all labor management issues and provides various training programs.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or203.965.0560.

About the Authors

Robert G. Brody is the founding member of Brody and Associates, LLC. He has been quoted and published in national publications and appears as a guest T.V. commentator on contemporary Labor and Employment issues. Learn More