May an employer require all employees to wear a uniform?

Author: William Denham, Shortt & Nguyen, PC

Yes. An employer may adopt appearance and grooming policies that, for reasons of health or safety or for a desired public image, require all employees to wear a uniform as long as such policies do not unlawfully discriminate against a protected class under federal or state law. Uniform policies should be defined and stated clearly in the employee handbook and applied equally to all employees. Uniform policies that, for example, impose unequal burdens on men and women may be suspect. Further, an employer may need to provide an employee with a reasonable accommodation to the uniform policy on the basis of religion, disability or ethnicity if providing the requested accommodation would not cause the employer undue hardship.