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Dress Codes, and Grooming Policies: The Practical Impact New Laws Have on Employee Handbook Policy Development and Enforcement - On-Demand

Dress Codes, and Grooming Policies: The Practical Impact New Laws Have on Employee Handbook Policy Development and Enforcement - On-Demand

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Dress Codes, and Grooming Policies: The Practical Impact New Laws Have on Employee Handbook Policy Development and Enforcement - On-Demand

Webinar now available On-Demand.


WEBINAR SNAPSHOT: Attendees will come away from this webinar knowing how to modify, if need be, their policies on hair and dress to avoid discrimination claims under new laws that protect ethnic and other hair styles, and will learn how to enforce employee handbook policies when necessary.


California, New York, and New Jersey have already enacted laws protecting employees (and public-school students) from discriminatory requirements regarding natural hair and hairstyles historically related to race. Other states and cities may soon follow suit. In addition, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey recently introduced a bill, the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) to underline that discrimination against black hairstyles amounts to discrimination against African American people. 

While many businesses and organizations require certain dress codes that impose requirements on a look that represents their brand, these dress and hair codes need to avoid discriminating against employees whose styles include natural hair, braids, locs, and twists, traditionally associated with African Americans or other minorities. 

Hair protection laws are coming, if not already enacted in your state or city. Employers will be well-advised to review their employee handbooks, dress codes, and grooming policies to make sure they are not discriminating against traditional ethnic styles. Besides affecting how employers treat their current employees, these laws also affect the treatment of new candidates for employment and how hiring decisions are made. Employers need to understand the laws and requirements around dress, grooming, and hair to ensure they are not running afoul of current laws and opening themselves up to costly discrimination lawsuits.

Find out more about the new laws on the books, what’s around the corner, and how to be prepared by using this on-demand webinar. Knowing what dress code requirements are legitimate for a particular position, and how to legally enforce them, will help you to stay in compliance and avoid unnecessary legal costs.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Get the latest updates on the CROWN Act and other laws that impact dress codes around natural and ethnic hairstyles
  • Know what limits you may legally impose on employees regarding dress, hair, and avoid discrimination on racial or religious grounds
  • Review your employee handbooks to ensure your dress codes are compliant with the laws—federal, state, and city
  • Take care when informing employees that “professional,” “neat,” or “tidy” appearance is required and ensure that your managers are not enforcing such requirements in a way that could be discriminatory based on race or ethnic style
  • Any dress codes or hair style requirements for health and safety reasons must be based on factual evidence, not generalized assumptions
  • Avoid lawsuits for discrimination in hiring by training your managers so they do not assess candidates based on hair or other factors that could be discriminatory
  • And much more!

About Your Presenter

Darcey GrodenDarcey M. Groden, Esq.

Darcey Groden is an associate with Fisher Phillips in the San Diego office. Groden counsels and defends employers of all sizes in a variety of employment matters, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability accommodation, civil rights, wrongful termination, wage and hour, worker misclassification, and breach of contract. Groden has also been advising clients on compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, she was an associate at a large general practice law firm in its Labor & Employment Department. During that time, she gained significant experience in litigating employment cases strategically and aggressively. Among her accomplishments, Groden obtained summary judgment on all 16 causes of action in a wrongful termination case and obtained dismissal of a complaint for various federal civil rights violations.