Personal Appearance Tips for Company Policy Manuals

Businesses want their employees to behave and dress professionally. A violation of company policy can lead to legal trouble when inappropriately applied. Carefully review guidelines regarding personal appearance to ensure it does not curb an employee’s protected rights.


As seen on, restrictions cannot discriminate against protected-class characteristics. That being said, companies can clearly define appropriate hair and grooming styles. Countering that with guidelines on what is inappropriate can help employees clearly follow guidelines. For example, well-groomed hair versus greasy hair.


The dress code is largely dependent on the organization. A company may have uniforms employees must wear whether full or only a shirt. Formal business attire may work in certain industries better than others. Business formal has the strictest guidelines while a casual dress code may not have many restrictions. Include a list of items not to be worn such as ball caps and flip flops.


While some businesses have no problem with visible tattoos, other companies may not want to see them at all. Be sure to include in the dress code policy any tattoo or piercing restrictions. For example, a tattoo may not look out of place at a bar, but a company selling mutual funds may not want employees to show them.

How a business handles a violation of company policy regarding dress code should be clearly stated. Make sure your policy manual is simple and easy to understand.

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