Wedding Woes

Stop. Making. This. A. Problem.

Dear Prudence,

I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

—My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
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Re: Stop. Making. This. A. Problem.

  • banana468 said:
    There are a few issues here:

    1) Generally one doesn't tell someone that they're dressed too well unless the attire isn't matching their duties.   Don't wear stilettos and drive a fork lift and don't wear flip flops if you're cooking with hot oil   How is their attire detrimental to the work environment?    I'd recommend that the boss actually consult someone in human resource law because my guess is that this wouldn't go very far.

    2) The attitude of the subordinates is what would  need to be addressed.   He needs to be clear, "I understand that you are not comfortable wearing clothing like this but you can consult our handbook and upper management that this attire is well within the company guidelines.   As your manager I need to remind you that what IS unprofessional is your unsolicited commentary on your boss'  wardrobe." 

    3) If those dressed are uptight snobs but they get the job done leave it alone.   Only address the situations that create an actual issue.


    It’s possible the formality of their dress is affecting the office environment. I can see H’s office telling someone that they’re dressed too formally and that it is impacting the culture and environment they have established. They’re a super casual company, not just in dress but how people interact with one another, the norms of the environment, etc. and I think dress is a big part of that. 

    I don’t think anyone could/would get fired, but if the office has a dress code (whatever it is) and employees aren’t following it, I think a private company could have the discretion to discuss it with the employee. 
    STARMOON44
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2018
    banana468 said:
    There are a few issues here:

    1) Generally one doesn't tell someone that they're dressed too well unless the attire isn't matching their duties.   Don't wear stilettos and drive a fork lift and don't wear flip flops if you're cooking with hot oil   How is their attire detrimental to the work environment?    I'd recommend that the boss actually consult someone in human resource law because my guess is that this wouldn't go very far.

    2) The attitude of the subordinates is what would  need to be addressed.   He needs to be clear, "I understand that you are not comfortable wearing clothing like this but you can consult our handbook and upper management that this attire is well within the company guidelines.   As your manager I need to remind you that what IS unprofessional is your unsolicited commentary on your boss'  wardrobe." 

    3) If those dressed are uptight snobs but they get the job done leave it alone.   Only address the situations that create an actual issue.


    It’s possible the formality of their dress is affecting the office environment. I can see H’s office telling someone that they’re dressed too formally and that it is impacting the culture and environment they have established. They’re a super casual company, not just in dress but how people interact with one another, the norms of the environment, etc. and I think dress is a big part of that. 

    I don’t think anyone could/would get fired, but if the office has a dress code (whatever it is) and employees aren’t following it, I think a private company could have the discretion to discuss it with the employee. 
    That's an interesting take.

    The company I work for has multiple facilities.   Some are casual and some are business casual. I interact with multiple facilities frequently and at our core it's our communication skills that work.  What the LW describes is a difference between business casual and casual.  It's interesting to me because in no environment of dress code have I ever seen what you are told what NOT to wear.   In previous jobs our attire stated the minimum and never the max.   I'm honestly curious what kind of precedent there is to state if someone is over-dressed and is too formal.

    That said, the larger issue IMO is how these employees are addressing management.   Like it or not they are the subordinates.    If I had a hunch we're talking about 40-something men (or older) working with 20-something men and there's also an insinuation that they know more than those in charge. 
    And the bottom line here is that these older guys need to change how they approach others.   Maybe that's in the dressing but it's certainly in word choice and attitude. 
    mrsconn23charlotte989875ahoywedding
  • banana468 said:
    banana468 said:
    There are a few issues here:

    1) Generally one doesn't tell someone that they're dressed too well unless the attire isn't matching their duties.   Don't wear stilettos and drive a fork lift and don't wear flip flops if you're cooking with hot oil   How is their attire detrimental to the work environment?    I'd recommend that the boss actually consult someone in human resource law because my guess is that this wouldn't go very far.

    2) The attitude of the subordinates is what would  need to be addressed.   He needs to be clear, "I understand that you are not comfortable wearing clothing like this but you can consult our handbook and upper management that this attire is well within the company guidelines.   As your manager I need to remind you that what IS unprofessional is your unsolicited commentary on your boss'  wardrobe." 

    3) If those dressed are uptight snobs but they get the job done leave it alone.   Only address the situations that create an actual issue.


    It’s possible the formality of their dress is affecting the office environment. I can see H’s office telling someone that they’re dressed too formally and that it is impacting the culture and environment they have established. They’re a super casual company, not just in dress but how people interact with one another, the norms of the environment, etc. and I think dress is a big part of that. 

    I don’t think anyone could/would get fired, but if the office has a dress code (whatever it is) and employees aren’t following it, I think a private company could have the discretion to discuss it with the employee. 
    That's an interesting take.

    The company I work for has multiple facilities.   Some are casual and some are business casual. I interact with multiple facilities frequently and at our core it's our communication skills that work.  What the LW describes is a difference between business casual and casual.  It's interesting to me because in no environment of dress code have I ever seen what you are told what NOT to wear.   In previous jobs our attire stated the minimum and never the max.   I'm honestly curious what kind of precedent there is to state if someone is over-dressed and is too formal.

    That said, the larger issue IMO is how these employees are addressing management.   Like it or not they are the subordinates.    If I had a hunch we're talking about 40-something men (or older) working with 20-something men and there's also an insinuation that they know more than those in charge. 
    And the bottom line here is that these older guys need to change how they approach others.   Maybe that's in the dressing but it's certainly in word choice and attitude. 
    H’s company was the first time I’ve ever heard of someone being told what not to wear, but in discussing first day he asked if he should wear a suit/tie/jacket and was told he would definitely be out of place. 

    To be fair its a tech company, but either the Exec team doesn’t get dressed up for board meetings so it's a big part of the culture. 
  • banana468 said:
    banana468 said:
    There are a few issues here:

    1) Generally one doesn't tell someone that they're dressed too well unless the attire isn't matching their duties.   Don't wear stilettos and drive a fork lift and don't wear flip flops if you're cooking with hot oil   How is their attire detrimental to the work environment?    I'd recommend that the boss actually consult someone in human resource law because my guess is that this wouldn't go very far.

    2) The attitude of the subordinates is what would  need to be addressed.   He needs to be clear, "I understand that you are not comfortable wearing clothing like this but you can consult our handbook and upper management that this attire is well within the company guidelines.   As your manager I need to remind you that what IS unprofessional is your unsolicited commentary on your boss'  wardrobe." 

    3) If those dressed are uptight snobs but they get the job done leave it alone.   Only address the situations that create an actual issue.


    It’s possible the formality of their dress is affecting the office environment. I can see H’s office telling someone that they’re dressed too formally and that it is impacting the culture and environment they have established. They’re a super casual company, not just in dress but how people interact with one another, the norms of the environment, etc. and I think dress is a big part of that. 

    I don’t think anyone could/would get fired, but if the office has a dress code (whatever it is) and employees aren’t following it, I think a private company could have the discretion to discuss it with the employee. 
    That's an interesting take.

    The company I work for has multiple facilities.   Some are casual and some are business casual. I interact with multiple facilities frequently and at our core it's our communication skills that work.  What the LW describes is a difference between business casual and casual.  It's interesting to me because in no environment of dress code have I ever seen what you are told what NOT to wear.   In previous jobs our attire stated the minimum and never the max.   I'm honestly curious what kind of precedent there is to state if someone is over-dressed and is too formal.

    That said, the larger issue IMO is how these employees are addressing management.   Like it or not they are the subordinates.    If I had a hunch we're talking about 40-something men (or older) working with 20-something men and there's also an insinuation that they know more than those in charge. 
    And the bottom line here is that these older guys need to change how they approach others.   Maybe that's in the dressing but it's certainly in word choice and attitude. 
    H’s company was the first time I’ve ever heard of someone being told what not to wear, but in discussing first day he asked if he should wear a suit/tie/jacket and was told he would definitely be out of place. 

    To be fair its a tech company, but either the Exec team doesn’t get dressed up for board meetings so it's a big part of the culture. 
    And out of place vs. 'not following code' is what gets me.   

    You can be out of place and viewed with a head tilt but is it failure to follow rules?   My grandfather wore pants and a collared shirt every day into retirement even when he didn't leave the house.   He never owned a pair of 'dungarees'.   

    That said, the bigger issue here is that these employees insinuate that they're doing something better and THAT is what LW seems to need to address.  

    ernursejshort+sassymaine7mob
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Sounds to me like the holier than thou attitude from those three subordinates is what needs to be addressed. If they want to dress more formally for the job, that's no big deal. But they need to take their noses out of the air and treat everyone else there, especially their manager, with politeness and respect and not disdain. They're not doing that.
    MesmrEweMNNEBrideshort+sassyahoywedding
  • I feel like there's a disconnect.  "Uptight snob" and "too professional clothes" doesn't necessarily overlap.  I dress too formal for my place of employment.  It's how I was raised, it's what my first few jobs required, and it's what I'm comfortable in.  I don't think anyone would describe me as an uptight snob within my coworkers or bosses.

    So focus in on the problem.  Are the employees actually uptight snobs?  If they are, address that.  B/c just forcing them to be more casual in clothes isn't gong to change that.  And why is uptight snob affecting their work anyway?  I don't ever go to hangouts at the office and I really dislike office parties and the like and I know people have called me a bitch for it.  They can't touch my work though, so I go on about my business.  IDK, I sniff a bunch of "we don't like how they dress and we go by stereotypes" here.  There might be room for bending on everyone's part. 
    banana468ILoveBeachMusicahoyweddingOliveOilsMom
  • I find it odd LW's boss has such an issue with the way they dress. Now if it is their attitude that is different, but saying tell your employees to dress more casually just seems odd. Like shouldn't the boss have bigger fish to fry.

    It could be as simple as these people have tons of dressy clothes from before and don't want to go buy new stuff for the job just yet. Or maybe the longer they are there the more they will adapt. If my dad got a job at a place like that you better believe he wouldn't be wearing jeans and a tshirt to work, that just isn't in his DNA. But as long as his attitude wasn't affecting anything it shouldn't matter. 
    ei34ahoywedding
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Jesus, I can't imagine spending so much time/concern/energy over how my employees dress. And this goes for LW and her boss. How's the quality of their work? Are they really uptight snobs, or are you just projecting onto them? 
    mrsconn23VarunaTTei34
  • Jesus, I can't imagine spending so much time/concern/energy over how my employees dress. And this goes for LW and her boss. How's the quality of their work? Are they really uptight snobs, or are you just projecting onto them? 
    That's where I am as well.  There may be projection going both ways. 

    IF the LW's employees really said they feel LW dresses unprofessionally, then LW needs to address that as a respect issue with their subordinates.   However, (projecting here, ha) I'm getting the impression that LW and/or LW's boss has been pressuring these people to dress down and they don't want to and finally said something like, "We feel dressing casual is 'unprofessional'."  

    I am picturing this place of business being something akin to Russell Brand's firm on the most recent season of Ballers.  

    But seriously, I think LW and their boss are making a problem where there isn't one.  And as someone who works from home and my company has a 'casual dress' policy, it still annoys me that the 'culture of cool' has invaded the professional sector and now people are being shamed for dressing business casual (which from what LW describes, is what they're wearing).  I mean they're not showing up in suits, just not wearing hoodies and ripped jeans.  Maybe being 'pulled together' is how those people feel the most productive. 

    And I laughed out loud at the horror of one them wearing a TIE.  I can totally see a bro dude being, "A tie? Are you into nooses or something man? What's your deal?" 
  • So I still disagree. If this were the reverse, if employees was “underdressed” for a company dress code policy would the feeling still be for LW to let it go, even if the boss said to address it? 

    Companies get to set their dress codes however they want. If employees don’t like the policy they can find a company where they do like the policy. I think this also includes policies of casual dress. If you are showing up in a suit when your entire office is in jeans/tshirts I think you’re trying to make a statement that you aren’t going to participate in the culture or environment. And that’s your right, but I also think it’s the company’s right to say you’re not a good fit. 
    ei34STARMOON44
  • So I still disagree. If this were the reverse, if employees was “underdressed” for a company dress code policy would the feeling still be for LW to let it go, even if the boss said to address it? 

    Companies get to set their dress codes however they want. If employees don’t like the policy they can find a company where they do like the policy. I think this also includes policies of casual dress. If you are showing up in a suit when your entire office is in jeans/tshirts I think you’re trying to make a statement that you aren’t going to participate in the culture or environment. And that’s your right, but I also think it’s the company’s right to say you’re not a good fit. 
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    mrsconn23
  • banana468 said:
    So I still disagree. If this were the reverse, if employees was “underdressed” for a company dress code policy would the feeling still be for LW to let it go, even if the boss said to address it? 

    Companies get to set their dress codes however they want. If employees don’t like the policy they can find a company where they do like the policy. I think this also includes policies of casual dress. If you are showing up in a suit when your entire office is in jeans/tshirts I think you’re trying to make a statement that you aren’t going to participate in the culture or environment. And that’s your right, but I also think it’s the company’s right to say you’re not a good fit. 
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    I actually don’t think it’s about exceeding the minimum. The company says (I’m assuming from H’s experience here, which was super clear from the beginning.) we wear x clothing here for y reasons. And employees wear z clothing after knowing that x is what is the norm and expectations. Even if z is “fancier” they are still not respecting the company and the culture. 

    I guess I just don’t see why it’s so crazy for a company that has a particular culture to work to keep it that way.

     I think we assume that more formal clothing is somehow “better” than less formal clothing, but these employees are still disrespecting the culture (and the LW) by intentionally ignoring it. 

    But yeah theyre also wrong for disrespecting the LW by saying they are unprofessional. My guess is that they are not the only one these employees have said this to. 
    MyNameIsNot
  • edited October 2018
    VarunaTT said:
    I just don't see "tshirts and jeans" and "collared shirts and chinos" as worlds apart.  They're basically one step up.  And once, a tie?  That sounds like they had a special something and they wore a tie.

    If the employees are uptight snobs, they can be so in t-shirts and jeans too (I mean, where did the hipster stereotype come from).  I think the culture difference here is really in start-up vs. corporate and that is what needs addressing.  Including calling their boss's clothes unprofessional.
    True! Chinos/khakis and a polo shirt? Not that different from jeans/T-shirt. But dress pants/button downs and tie? Everyday? Yeah I think that’s the employees specifically not dressing to the culture. 

    But yeah it sounds like the employees dont understand/respect start up culture and that’s the real problem since they seem to think there is something wrong with it. 
  • mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

    —My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
    That's what the letter states they wear though.  I think some assumptions have been made b/c of the idea of "corporate" and "uptight snobs" mentioned later.  Honestly, this is like...hipster levels of uptightness to me, that LW/boss is irritable that chinos and collared shirts are showing up.  Collared shirt to me isn't a button down.  
    banana468mrsconn23ei34
  • VarunaTT said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

    —My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
    That's what the letter states they wear though.  I think some assumptions have been made b/c of the idea of "corporate" and "uptight snobs" mentioned later.  Honestly, this is like...hipster levels of uptightness to me, that LW/boss is irritable that chinos and collared shirts are showing up.  Collared shirt to me isn't a button down.  
    Agreed.

    Also, you're going to see that level off dress in DH's company and even within his cube.   He's an engineer and wears jeans and a polo most days.   In the winter he's worn thick long sleeved T shirts (non-logo and kind of a step down from a sweater) or maybe a button down and jeans.   He rarely wears khakis (chinos) and on the days that he's in khakis and some kind of collared shirt I get a little misty eyed.

    But plenty of other people within his cube farm opt for the khakis and collared shirt on the daily.   And they all get along.   

    Last weekend I went to his HS reunion.   They requested cocktail attire.  (don't get me started on the BS of it).   The group was dressed anywhere from a tie-less suit to jeans, collared shirt and a jacket to denim and untucked plaid collared shirt.   It was a group that meshed plenty well together when the difference in dress was damn near similar to what's described by LW. 


    mrsconn23
  • VarunaTT said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

    —My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
    That's what the letter states they wear though.  I think some assumptions have been made b/c of the idea of "corporate" and "uptight snobs" mentioned later.  Honestly, this is like...hipster levels of uptightness to me, that LW/boss is irritable that chinos and collared shirts are showing up.  Collared shirt to me isn't a button down.  
    I read the “one case” as one employee wears a tie; not one employee one time wore a tie, but that’s not really the point. 

    I think we just disagree here; I think a private company has a right to say “this is how we dress here” and expect that people follow that. Even if that means telling people to dress more casually than they otherwise would. 

    If I regularly showed up in something that was not within our company’s dress policy I would expect that someone addressed it with me. Regardless of whether i was over/under/nicely dressed.  
    STARMOON44
  • banana468 said:
     
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    Not an HR person but sometimes I play one on TV. The only way they could really look at enforcing this would be if their handbook said "we have a casual dress code. All employees are expected to wear jeans and tshirts to work every day unless otherwise directed by  management". I've written many a handbook and never saw a maximum dress code addressed. Even for a casual one the most I've seen is saying no holes/rips in clothes, shorts must be appropriate length, etc. 
    VarunaTTcupcait927
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I also agree that khakis are just one tiny step up from jeans. It's not like the employees are wearing suits. We're a pretty casual office, and we get a whole range of different dress. Some very casual, some business casual, some in the middle. And unless someone was wearing something inappropriate, I don't see the point in addressing it. I'm a manager, so there are definitely things I would not wear to work, especially on days I have meetings. 
    And yes, ultimately a private company can make whatever rules they'd like regarding dress code. But your casual, laid-back environment goes out the window when you're being so strict about stupid chinos and polo shirts. 
    VarunaTTei34
  • kvruns said:
    banana468 said:
     
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    Not an HR person but sometimes I play one on TV. The only way they could really look at enforcing this would be if their handbook said "we have a casual dress code. All employees are expected to wear jeans and tshirts to work every day unless otherwise directed by  management". I've written many a handbook and never saw a maximum dress code addressed. Even for a casual one the most I've seen is saying no holes/rips in clothes, shorts must be appropriate length, etc. 
    That's what I've seen as well.    I've never seen something even in a business casual dress that stated what would be considered over-dressing. 


  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2018
    VarunaTT said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

    —My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
    That's what the letter states they wear though.  I think some assumptions have been made b/c of the idea of "corporate" and "uptight snobs" mentioned later.  Honestly, this is like...hipster levels of uptightness to me, that LW/boss is irritable that chinos and collared shirts are showing up.  Collared shirt to me isn't a button down.  
    I read the “one case” as one employee wears a tie; not one employee one time wore a tie, but that’s not really the point. 

    I think we just disagree here; I think a private company has a right to say “this is how we dress here” and expect that people follow that. Even if that means telling people to dress more casually than they otherwise would. 

    If I regularly showed up in something that was not within our company’s dress policy I would expect that someone addressed it with me. Regardless of whether i was over/under/nicely dressed.  
    I guess the issue is that from my and most other people's experiences, a dress code is a minimum guideline.   And if you fit the minimum, then your dress shouldn't be an issue.  I mean, if someone wants to wear a tux or ballgown (with covered shoulders, no bra showing) to work once a week in my office, they might get funny looks/comments...but their job isn't going to be in jeopardy.  

    Not playing along with/into the culture may curtail these people's growth opportunities at this company, but I still think it's a HUGE leap to dictate how people dress if they are showing up in clothing that falls into the minimum guideline of the dress code. 

    A dress code aside that I just remembered: when a certain sector of my company launched WAH, their management asked IT if they could install cameras on remote associates computers and essentially 'spy' on them to see if they were wearing appropriate office attire...even though they were working FROM HOME.  It got a big fat rejection, because it's unethical and illegal. I was in the IT office when they were laughing their asses off about the request. 
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    mrsconn23 said:
    VarunaTT said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

    —My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
    That's what the letter states they wear though.  I think some assumptions have been made b/c of the idea of "corporate" and "uptight snobs" mentioned later.  Honestly, this is like...hipster levels of uptightness to me, that LW/boss is irritable that chinos and collared shirts are showing up.  Collared shirt to me isn't a button down.  
    I read the “one case” as one employee wears a tie; not one employee one time wore a tie, but that’s not really the point. 

    I think we just disagree here; I think a private company has a right to say “this is how we dress here” and expect that people follow that. Even if that means telling people to dress more casually than they otherwise would. 

    If I regularly showed up in something that was not within our company’s dress policy I would expect that someone addressed it with me. Regardless of whether i was over/under/nicely dressed.  
    I guess the issue is that from my and most other people's experiences, a dress code is a minimum guideline.   And if you fit the minimum, then your dress shouldn't be an issue.  I mean, if someone wants to wear a tux or ballgown (with covered shoulders, no bra showing) to work once a week in my office, they might get funny looks/comments...but their job isn't going to be in jeopardy.  

    Not playing along with/into the culture may curtail these people's growth opportunities at this company, but I still think it's a HUGE leap to dictate how people dress if they are showing up in clothing that falls into the minimum guideline of the dress code. 

    A dress code aside that I just remembered: when a certain sector of my company launched WAH, their management asked IT if they could install cameras on remote associates computers and essentially 'spy' on them to see if they were wearing appropriate office attire...even though they were working FROM HOME.  It got a big fat rejection, because it's unethical and illegal. I was in the IT office when they were laughing their asses off about the request. 
    That is nuts! 
    mrsconn23charlotte989875MesmrEwe
  • mrsconn23 said:
    VarunaTT said:
    mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    I was the second hired employee for a tech startup. Over the years, we have grown significantly, and I am now in charge of three relatively new employees. All three used to work in the corporate world and still dress like it, despite our company’s informal dress code. I wear T-shirts and jeans every day, while they wear chinos, collared shirts, and in one case a tie. My boss has expressed his displeasure in their dress and wants me to address it. I’ve attempted to, but they ignore me and even call my clothes unprofessional. Our other employees dress casually and feel like my employees are uptight snobs (which they are). What should I do?

    —My Staff Dresses Better Than Me
    That's what the letter states they wear though.  I think some assumptions have been made b/c of the idea of "corporate" and "uptight snobs" mentioned later.  Honestly, this is like...hipster levels of uptightness to me, that LW/boss is irritable that chinos and collared shirts are showing up.  Collared shirt to me isn't a button down.  
    I read the “one case” as one employee wears a tie; not one employee one time wore a tie, but that’s not really the point. 

    I think we just disagree here; I think a private company has a right to say “this is how we dress here” and expect that people follow that. Even if that means telling people to dress more casually than they otherwise would. 

    If I regularly showed up in something that was not within our company’s dress policy I would expect that someone addressed it with me. Regardless of whether i was over/under/nicely dressed.  
    I guess the issue is that from my and most other people's experiences, a dress code is a minimum guideline.   And if you fit the minimum, then your dress shouldn't be an issue.  I mean, if someone wants to wear a tux or ballgown (with covered shoulders, no bra showing) to work once a week in my office, they might get funny looks/comments...but their job isn't going to be in jeopardy.  

    Not playing along with/into the culture may curtail these people's growth opportunities at this company, but I still think it's a HUGE leap to dictate how people dress if they are showing up in clothing that falls into the minimum guideline of the dress code. 

    A dress code aside that I just remembered: when a certain sector of my company launched WAH, their management asked IT if they could install cameras on remote associates computers and essentially 'spy' on them to see if they were wearing appropriate office attire...even though they were working FROM HOME.  It got a big fat rejection, because it's unethical and illegal. I was in the IT office when they were laughing their asses off about the request. 
    That is nuts! 
    That we can all agree on!!
    mrsconn23
  • banana468 said:
    So I still disagree. If this were the reverse, if employees was “underdressed” for a company dress code policy would the feeling still be for LW to let it go, even if the boss said to address it? 

    Companies get to set their dress codes however they want. If employees don’t like the policy they can find a company where they do like the policy. I think this also includes policies of casual dress. If you are showing up in a suit when your entire office is in jeans/tshirts I think you’re trying to make a statement that you aren’t going to participate in the culture or environment. And that’s your right, but I also think it’s the company’s right to say you’re not a good fit. 
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    Most companies don’t need cause for disciplinary action. If you’re an at will employee you can be fired for any reason, good or bad, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. A company can set a dress code and insist employees follow it whether formal or informal. 
    MyNameIsNotcharlotte989875
  • banana468 said:
    So I still disagree. If this were the reverse, if employees was “underdressed” for a company dress code policy would the feeling still be for LW to let it go, even if the boss said to address it? 

    Companies get to set their dress codes however they want. If employees don’t like the policy they can find a company where they do like the policy. I think this also includes policies of casual dress. If you are showing up in a suit when your entire office is in jeans/tshirts I think you’re trying to make a statement that you aren’t going to participate in the culture or environment. And that’s your right, but I also think it’s the company’s right to say you’re not a good fit. 
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    Most companies don’t need cause for disciplinary action. If you’re an at will employee you can be fired for any reason, good or bad, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. A company can set a dress code and insist employees follow it whether formal or informal. 
    Yes, but the reason they don't just fire people willy-nilly and have extensive guidelines for conduct, dress codes, system integrity, etc. is that when they do fire someone for cause, they can block them from getting unemployment.  If they can't prove that a disciplinary process was implemented and followed to show the person was fired for cause, they will have to pay out unemployment claims for people who are fired.  

    At least that's how it works in my state.  You can only file for unemployment if you worked somewhere for 6 months or more, I believe. 

    My company does not like paying out claims for people who essentially fail out of the 'performance improvement process'.  I've been to unemployment court for them because I was in a temporary management role at the time a person was fired and she was on the team I was overseeing.   
  • mrsconn23 said:
    banana468 said:
    So I still disagree. If this were the reverse, if employees was “underdressed” for a company dress code policy would the feeling still be for LW to let it go, even if the boss said to address it? 

    Companies get to set their dress codes however they want. If employees don’t like the policy they can find a company where they do like the policy. I think this also includes policies of casual dress. If you are showing up in a suit when your entire office is in jeans/tshirts I think you’re trying to make a statement that you aren’t going to participate in the culture or environment. And that’s your right, but I also think it’s the company’s right to say you’re not a good fit. 
    That's OK but they need to do it from the start rather than at this point now. 

    Can someone cite an example of a company that has a dress code about exceeding the minimum as a cause for disciplinary action?? 

    Generally the dress code is used as a sign of respect for the position and environment.   Are there any HR people here who can reference ways to enforce this in reverse?? 




    Most companies don’t need cause for disciplinary action. If you’re an at will employee you can be fired for any reason, good or bad, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. A company can set a dress code and insist employees follow it whether formal or informal. 
    Yes, but the reason they don't just fire people willy-nilly and have extensive guidelines for conduct, dress codes, system integrity, etc. is that when they do fire someone for cause, they can block them from getting unemployment.  If they can't prove that a disciplinary process was implemented and followed to show the person was fired for cause, they will have to pay out unemployment claims for people who are fired.  

    At least that's how it works in my state.  You can only file for unemployment if you worked somewhere for 6 months or more, I believe. 

    My company does not like paying out claims for people who essentially fail out of the 'performance improvement process'.  I've been to unemployment court for them because I was in a temporary management role at the time a person was fired and she was on the team I was overseeing.   
    All of this.

    And beyond that - this is now a precedent setting policy for them should they wish to terminate someone for dressing too formally.     So in addition to the above that @mrsconn23 indicated, this is now something that can be used for or against them in the future.  That's something they need to really investigate to see if it's actually worth it or they can find themselves sued by a khaki wearing terminated employee if that employee can show that he was fired for wearing tan pants and other people still keep their jobs wearing tan pants. 
    mrsconn23short+sassy
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