Can a manager discuss how an employee is dressed or looks to other staff?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a manager discuss how an employee is dressed or looks to other staff?

I work part time at Holiday Inn in North Little Rock and an employee told me the manager expressed to him that she didn’t know what my issue was coming to work with jeans on and I seem not to care for my job. The manager then said, if she tells you she is going to quit or do something else let me know because she doesn’t talk to anyone else. Then she preceded to discuss personal information I had shared with only her as a manager. Is this legal?

Asked on May 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

While unprofessional, the actions that you describe are legal. That is unless you are being singled out for such treatment due to your race, religion, disability, age (over 40), nationality, gender, etc. Otherwise, absent the terms of an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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