Can an employer tell its employees what it can and cannot wear?
Robert Ravanello, the Service Delivery Chief from the ATO sent and email to his staff saying this,
“Items of clothing such as thongs, board shorts or revealing attire, are just some examples of clothing that are considered to be too casual and therefore inappropriate for the ATO workplace.”
Was this unreasonable? Absolutely not!
An employer has the right to impose appropriate dress standards on its staff provided they are not discriminatory.
In fact an employer could be liable if, for example, an employee dresses sexually provocatively and the employer does nothing about it and then another employee makes a complaint about that person’s dress. Potentially the first employee could be deemed to have sexually harassed the second employee and the employer could be vicariously liable.
For this reason it is important that employers have clear guidelines of appropriate workplace dress and apply these guidelines consistently across the workplace. If you think your workplace needs training in relation to appropriate dress and other inappropriate workplace behaviour issues then
call us on 08 6102 4411.