Posted October 01, 2015 by

Accommodating LGBTQ Employees with Dress Code Modifications

Most employers’ lists of policies and procedures include a dress code for employees. However, employers should be sensitive to LGBTQ employees and candidates when creating and enforcing the dress code. No bias should exist with how employees and candidates dress. They should dress based on their gender identities, and reflect a professional appearance in the workplace.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter recently hosted a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29, at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco.

College Recruiter has been publishing the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. Beth Zoller, Legal Editor for XpertHR, discusses accommodating LGBTQ employees with dress code modifications.

beth p. zoller

Beth Zoller, Legal Editor at XpertHR

“If an employer discovers that one of their candidates for employment is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, an employer should consider the following:

If an employer discovers that one of the candidates for employment or one of its employees is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), the employer should make sure to handle dress codes and appearance policies with respect to grooming, jewelry, makeup and facial hair in a sensitive manner. While the employer may implement and enforce a professional dress code, a job candidate or employee should not be judged, disciplined, or discriminated against because the individual fails to conform to gender norms. An employer should never require employees or job candidates to dress in the manner considered consistent with their biological sex and should permit individuals to dress consistent with their gender identities. An employer should help all individuals feel comfortable, and an employer should be flexible enough to allow reasonable accommodations to the employer’s policies.”

Bio: Beth P. Zoller is the legal editor for the discrimination, affirmative action, harassment, retaliation, employee privacy, and employee handbooks/work rules/employee conduct content in the employee management section of XpertHR. Prior to joining XpertHR, Beth practiced law for more than 10 years representing employers with respect to employment discrimination and harassment claims, contractual disputes, restrictive covenant issues, family and medical leave, wage and hour disputes and a variety of other employment-related claims.

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