Are employer dress codes illegal?

Vanessa Friedman has written a fascinating short essay titled “The End of the Office Dress Code.” In addition to her insightful interview of Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University and director of the Fashion Law Institute, Ms Friedman raises many interesting questions about the legality of dress codes at work. She also raises deeper questions about the meaning of such vague terms as “professional” or “business casual,” like this one:

One person’s “appropriate” can easily be another’s “disgraceful,” and words like “professional,” when used to describe dress requirements, can seem so vague as to be almost meaningless. Kanye West wearing ripped jeans and a jeweled Balmain jacket at the Met Gala: cool or rude? Julia Roberts at the premiere of “Money Monster” at Cannes this year in bare feet: red carpet pioneer or a step too far?

 

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