Can There Be A Rule About Undergarments?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about underwear:

Can a workplace tell you what kind of undergarments you can wear?

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

We aren’t attorneys so we can’t provide a definitive legal answer. However, it doesn’t require an attorney to say that in the U.S. there is no law about dress codes as long as they don’t discriminate or create an adverse effect on a protected class of employees (age, gender, ethnicity, etc.)I don’t know what kind of situation has developed in your company but usually rules about undergarments relate to the fact that they are showing or that they show through regular clothing or are otherwise problematic.

If you’re concerned, find out what problems caused the rule to be enacted. You might be able to show that the problem no longer exists and the rule could be changed. Or, if it is a situation where, upon being hired you were told about an undergarment rule perhaps you can ask for an explanation to help you understand the reason. If no good reason can be given, bring it up to your HR office. It may be the rule is not company-wide and they would like to know about it or stop it.Best wishes to you with this situation. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.