SHRM Quotes Sarah Pawlicki on Changes to Workplace Dress Code Following Pandemic
Corporate dress codes have been a pain point for company leaders to establish, human resources professionals to enforce and employees to embrace. In “Dress Codes Evolve Following Pandemic,” (published by SHRM), labor and employment attorneys, including Eastman & Smith member Sarah E. Pawlicki, examined how pandemic lockdowns and hybrid working environments have challenged the future of dress code policies. It also discussed how to define inappropriate attire, address violations and avoid unlawful discrimination. In particular, Ms. Pawlicki stressed that while dress codes are becoming more casual, it is important that casual dress does not go too far. Some points Ms. Pawlicki made include:
- Dress codes have relaxed as one means of encouraging employees to return to the office.
- What works at home may not be office appropriate.
- Appropriate depends on the employment environment.
- Sensitive conversations with an employee should involve two company officials.
- Diversity can be expressed through dress. “Employers should embrace [using clothing to start diversity conversations], recognizing that company culture should be the guiding determination rather than traditional notions regarding gender or race.”
Ms. Pawlicki has a broad range of employment experience, partnering with human resource professionals to make workplaces better (and legally compliant). Her experience encompasses collective bargaining and grievance issues, employment law compliance and workers' compensation law. She is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). For questions concerning workplace dress code policies, please contact Ms. Pawlicki.