Example Of Report On Do Organizations Have A Right To Tell Their Employees How To Dress Or Groom?
Do Organizations have a Right to tell their Employees how to Dress or Groom?
Ordinarily, businesses are expected to hire their employees without discriminating against any applicant based on religious, gender, race, or disability grounds. However, there are cases where employers have been accused of rejecting applications from particular applicants on the same grounds. Despite the hullabaloo, organizations have a right to require their employees to dress or behave in a particular manner, especially when in the work environment.
There are many reasons why organizations require their employees to use a certain dress code or grooming behavior. For example, an organization may require its employees to have a certain, official dress code when conducting business on behalf of the company (McAfee & Champagne, 1994). In the same way, some organizations may ban certain dress codes because of indecency. Some dress codes could portray the organization negatively to the customers and members of the public hence the need to require a certain dress code.
Grooming habits may also be controlled by the employer. For example, those working in an environment dealing with food may be required to keep their hair and nails short and avoid perfumes. Such grooming habits may be controlled by the employer because they are unhygienic and may introduce foreign substances into the food or food product being prepared. Apart from the food industry, firms in other industries may require employees to abide by a certain grooming or dressing code for other reasons. A good example is the film industry. For instance, Disney may require its cast members to use a particular dress code when holding a parade performance. Therefore, the Disney employees that are scheduled to act in such performances should use the dress code that is required. There is no discrimination in doing so because it is a routine practice and all the employees should adjust to that environment.
In 2005, Disney was sued by Sukhbir Channa, a 24-year old employee of the company. Channa alleged that he had been discriminated against by the company because he could not conform to the “Disney dress code” (Frost, 2008). However, looking at the circumstances in which the discrimination is said to have occurred, Disney had not done anything wrong. Channa was part of a cast that was scheduled to appear in a certain performance. In addition to that, organizations like Disney make their employees understand that they will occasionally be required to put on certain costumes when performing. Each employee is required to adhere to those standards, as long as they are scheduled to be part of the cast.
Channa took Disney to court because the Disney dress code was not in conformity with his religious beliefs. There is no doubt that organizations should not discriminate their employees based on religious grounds. However, organizations cannot take employers to court when there is no undue hardship on their part to accommodate the requirements stipulated by the employer. A case in point is the Eweida v British Airways case, which was thrown out by the Tribunal. In that case, Eweida had alleged that British Airways had indirectly discriminated against her Christian faith by requiring their uniformed staff not to wear any conspicuous jewelry around the neck (Bailey, 2010). However, fellow Christians testified that displaying a cross was not a requirement of the Christian faith rather it was a personal decision. Therefore, Eweida’s manifestation of her religious faith had not been interfered with.
In conclusion, organizations have a right to require their employees to use a certain dress code or grooming behavior because that affects their public image. Organizations can also require their employees to conform to a certain grooming behavior because of safety and health reasons. As long as the employees understand the values and standards of the organization and the organization does not prevent the practice of one’s faith without reason, there is nothing wrong with having a certain dress code or grooming behavior.
Bailey, P., & Percival, H. (2010, March 1). Case of the week: Eweida v British Airways. Retrieved January 6, 2016, from http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/dress-code-eweida-v-british-airways-plc-tribunal/
Coyle, M. (2003, January 29). Gray areas in controlling employee lifestyles. Retrieved January 6, 2015, from http://www.workforce.com/articles/gray-areas-in-controlling-employee-lifestyles
McAfee, R. B., & Champagne, P. J. (1994). Effectively managing troublesome employees. Wesport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.