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Do Your Employees Dress Too Provocatively?

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on November 15, 2011 5:46 AM

You've probably encountered employees who dress in a provocative or unkempt manner. And you probably debated whether to bring it up.

If you don't have an employee dress code, creating one can be an easy fix. But what if an employee is simply not following the rules? It's not easy to tell her that she's dressing provocatively. Or to tell him he really needs to pull up his pants.

Consider one of the following suggestions:

Retraining. Because clothing can be a sensitive subject, consider holding a company-wide meeting. Tell your employees you'd like to remind them of the dress code, and that you're open to any specific questions. Just try not to single anyone out.

Write a note. It's always good to get things in writing. Consider re-distributing the employee dress code and mentioning that you've seen some violations around the office. Instead of pointing out exactly what is wrong and who did it, consider highlighting the relevant parts of the code as a reminder.

Have a conversation. This is a little trickier, as you don't want to be accused of sexual harassment or say something insensitive. Call the employee into your office and be as tactful as possible. Point out what they're doing wrong, as well as what looks right. Just be sure to keep the potentially offensive adjectives in check.

Ultimately, sensitivity is key when enforcing your employee dress code. Most employees don't realize that their clothing is inappropriate for the workplace. They may just need a nudge in the right direction.

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