A couple of readers of our blog post yesterday relating to employer dress and grooming policies helpfully added a couple of points about an employer’s legitimate health and safety concerns, which we publish below.
Marc Brenman, a university instructor in Olympia, WA:
“There are also issues of mutable characteristics, and safety. And issues such as the fact that the ability to wear long hair doesn’t mean the employee can drag it thru the food.”
Peter Mangles, healthcare exec in Aberdeen, UK:
“This is a very interesting article about the rules and laws around discrimination and uniform and dress code policies. We have for many years in the health sector dictated to employees and staff about dress codes, uniforms and the wearing of jewelry at work. The wearing of rings, bangles and nail polish has for example been frowned upon and “banned” because of infection control and occupational health and safety reasons.
Shoe and uniform styles are often stipulated and enforced because of potential needle stick injuries and the exposure to blood and other bodily fluids. Depending on an individuals area of expertise other personal protective equipment (PPE) may be necessary that also affects what an individual may or may not wear.
The article was an interesting read in regards to the various precedents set in the courts in relation to grooming and uniform policy enforcement, something to mindful and aware of in the future.”