Can an employer require female employees towear a bra?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer require female employees towear a bra?

If so, please give a way to relay thisinfo without offending or crossing an unknown line.

Asked on January 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It's not wearing a bra per se, but an employer can set dress codes and can require employees to work in a way that is professional, appropriate to the workplace, and which will not offend customers/clients or impact teamwork and moral among coworkers. This includes not dressing in a too-sexual or revealing way. Some women do not need bras, depending on how they built and how they dress; others do. The issue is, is this woman's appearance at work unprofessional, disruptive, or not appropriate for the customer base/clients. If it is, you have the right to tell her to correct the issue or you could suspend or even terminate her.
There really is no way to delicately say this: you need to simply say that her dress is too revealing or immodest or unprofessional and that she needs to change it.  If you have HR or other managers at work, having someone else join you in the conversation with her--any sensitive consveration is best witnessed.

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