May an employer have a policy that prohibits male employees from wearing earrings?
Author: William Denham, Shortt & Nguyen, PC
Yes. An employer may adopt a dress code that, for reasons of health or safety or for a desired public image, prohibit male employees from wearing earrings. An employer may forbid employees from wearing or revealing jewelry that would detract from the employer's clean, neat and professional public persona and image. However, an employer must be careful that a dress code does not impose a greater burden on one gender than the other. Further, an employer should be careful about discrimination and sex stereotyping claims. An employer may need to make reasonable accommodations based upon an employee's religion, national origin or disability under federal law, or sexual orientation or gender identity under state law. All dress code requirements should be clearly outlined in the employee handbook.