Can a school require a teacher to wear something that that the teacher finds racist, perpetuates racist stereotype and goes against their conscience?

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Can a school require a teacher to wear something that that the teacher finds racist, perpetuates racist stereotype and goes against their conscience?

As a teacher, I work in a school that has an Indian Mascot.

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can set dress codes for its employees, require clothing with certain logos or images, etc. and the employee must wear it, even if it offends the employee's conscience. You personal values are not a concern of your employer, and your employer is not required to take cognizance of them. The employee's options are to not work for an employer which has symbolism that he or she finds offensive (i.e. to look for a different job) or to constructively engage with the employer (e.g. the district and school community) to try to get the offensive image changed. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can set dress codes for its employees, require clothing with certain logos or images, etc. and the employee must wear it, even if it offends the employee's conscience. You personal values are not a concern of your employer, and your employer is not required to take cognizance of them. The employee's options are to not work for an employer which has symbolism that he or she finds offensive (i.e. to look for a different job) or to constructively engage with the employer (e.g. the district and school community) to try to get the offensive image changed. 


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