What are my rights if a job told meI needed to change my clothing becauseI was a female and needed to wear female clothing?

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What are my rights if a job told meI needed to change my clothing becauseI was a female and needed to wear female clothing?

I wore the same type of clothing and passed all the test they gave me and there was nothing in the handbook saying that women should wear women’s clothing. The only thing it says that men can’t wear earrings. They loved my sales pitch and all that. They didn’t say anything about my cloths until they gave me the job. I told them I wouldn’t take the job because Ishouldn’t have to change my clothing since  didn’t feel it would hurt their business.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it's not up to you to determine if it should or shouldn't hurt their business. Employers may set dress codes; and dress codes may reference what is generally considered acceptable dress for each gender under societal norms. That's not to say those norms are objectively correct, but since companies do business in society with members of society (people), they can require their employees to dress in a way that meets societal approval. There are a few very limited exceptions if some fundamental right is involved--for example, an employer usually may not infringe on articles or modes of dress required by a religion, unless there is some hygene or safety issue involved.


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