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Workplace Fashionistas

Sep 14, 2010 / On the Job / Trackback

If it weren’t enough that we have a mega uproar over women wearing too much clothing in the workplace, we now have one the very same week about too little of it!

Imane Boudlal wants to dress piously and wear a hijab at work as a hostess at Storyteller’s Café in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.  It’s too much, doesn’t jive with our culture and people want her to take it off…

Ines Sainz wears form fitting jeans and tops that pop cleavage while conducting interviews with athletes who do the hubba hubba behind her back. She’s asking for it, right? According to a lot of public opinion I have read today – that answer would be yes.

Apart from the fact there is clear civil rights protection against unlawful workplace discrimination – that covers dress associated with a particular religion, aren’t we all aware of protection against sexual harassment and responsibility to govern our own actions?

In regard to Imane wearing a hijab versus Mickey Mouse Ears (or whatever her co-workers wear)… If religious wear is not a potential safety hazard or there isn’t some other compelling reason it could impede one’s ability to effectively perform work – no one should feel compelled to call the fashion police. I understand uniforms (please.. I was a scout and in the military) and know that if someone needs to wear something that important to them, there are other parts of the uniform that can still be worn to clearly identify them as part of the team.

Concerning Ines, frankly it’s really not about her at all. She is employed by TV Azteca – and they are responsible for setting a dress code and ensuring employees follow it. If they are OK with how she dresses then there is no issue. The players have contracts with the Jets and as an organization they are responsible for the conduct of their players. It doesn’t matter if it is a football field or locker room -  it’s no different than working in any other environment – professional conduct is a must. I’ll gander that harassing others on Jets’ time isn’t Kosher.

Regardless of how Ines was dressed, it is not an EXCUSE for inappropriate conduct by others (let’s be real) – and the conduct was very inappropriate. That is why there was a public apology by the team management. And, it doesn’t matter that she was in the dressing room – that’s where reporters go to interview team members all the time. Before the opposite sex enters a dressing room it is announced so everyone has time to put clothes on. A locker room is just a room like any other as long as the rules for conduct are observed. Yes – male reporters go into women’s locker rooms to report. They go in with cameras just like this reporter did in the men’s locker room.

Let me reiterate just once more time for kicks and giggles… Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It is no wonder the EEOC is a busy place.



6 comments
Ginak
Ginak

I understand everyones rights- but it is still unclear to me why one would chose a job that clearly requires one wear a very specific uniform when they don't have any intention of complying. If they know that their want/ need to wear something in particular might not be part of the dress code- why apply for that type of work in the first place. I know that being a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas gives a great opportunity for making several hundred dollars per day in tips. But I also know that the position requires wearing a skimpy outfit & high heals. Neither of which I am willing to jump through hoops through to put on every day. The same goes for a job in the fire service. I know that I don't have the desire to wear 40 pounds in protective gear & then charge into a 1400 degree fire. So instead of getting either job and then asking for an exception to the rules- I chose a different line of work. One where I have the freedom to wear what I choose.

Lou Bonica
Lou Bonica

I was amazed how the people who wrote in to the NY Daily News (both men & women) basically said she asked for it. It was something like 6 people to none condoning the behavior of the players. Unbelievable.

Rayanne Thorn
Rayanne Thorn

Great post Karla!It's interesting how individuals twist rulings and result to back their own behavior. "Regard less of how Ines was dressed, it is not an EXCUSE for inap pro pri ate con duct by others (let’s be real)" perfect.

Karla Porter
Karla Porter

Ginak - I get where you are coming from but consider this.. If we had a system that allowed company dress codes to require uniforms but not accomodation, it would be super easy for any employer to practice discrimination against one group of people, not to mention multiple groups and - not only religious. If I had chemotherapy and lost my hair and you don't allow head covering - is that right? I'm vegan and don't wear leather - can I wear shoes that are different than the ones issued? What if I'm allergic to the material the uniform is made of???If I'm Hindu and wear bindi on my forehead is that a problem too and because it is a religious expression is it different than wearing a crucifix or star of David? Even the US military allows for religious accomodation in apparel as long as it does not present duty hazard. I could keep going on with thought provoking questions, but to sum it up - Is infringing on one's core beliefs (as long as they are in compliance with the law) worth making them uncomfortable at work, losing a good employee, being so egotistical as an employer that you can't value your employees' uniqueness? In this country of religious tolerance and freedom should one have to discount employment with a particular organization because they won't be allowed to be themselves? I'll stick with allowing people to don their religious paraphernalia as long as they do their job.

Karla Porter
Karla Porter

I hear that Lou - I couldn't believe my eyes reading it on abc.com either.. In my opinion, the huge ultra conservative tsunami that's coming might role us back to the Middle Ages, to include another Inquisition.Maybe it's time for that Recruiter Commune I keep teasing about --> All sane people to the island!!!

Karla Porter
Karla Porter

Rayanne - It makes me feel like - If a woman walks down the street with no clothes on it's a perfectly good reason to rape her... I have bile in my throat because of it... Where's the Rolaids?


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