Can Interview Dress Codes Be Discriminatory? - Manneliasem
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Can Interview Dress Codes Be Discriminatory?

Hiring managers cannot require you to dress in a way that conforms to certain gender norms. When they do, you have every right to voice your concerns. What you wear to an interview is your choice – free from the risk of retaliation.

What Is Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination at work can take on many forms. It is often when an employer treats an applicant or employee differently because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex.

Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received approximately 21,398 charges – making sex discrimination the fourth highest category. It is a common workplace issue that requires help from an employment attorney, especially for cases that show signs of biased interviewing processes.

Gender Neutral Attire 

Compared to men, women have often faced more criticism for wearing gender-neutral attire to an interview. Whether the job calls for casual, business casual, or professional styles, there’s a way to meet the criteria without having to adjust who you are to benefit the employer.

Though the perceptions of gender identity are changing across companies, this is still a prominent concern. If you’re applying for a job that requires a dress code, carefully review their policy. Some employers demand men to wear pants and women to wear skirts or dresses.

While employers can regulate what their employees wear to work in most cases, they cannot dictate applicants’ choices. Nor can they tell them to adapt to dress codes influenced by gendered stereotypes. To best understand what discrimination might look like, we list a few examples below:

  • You didn’t get the job or were offered a lower-paying position because of your gender identity.
  • The employer is holding you to higher standards compared to your coworkers for not conforming to their standards.
  • You’ve endured sexual advances, physical or verbal harassment.
  • You’ve gained a sudden negative performance review or dock in pay.

If you find yourself in this position, it’s best to consult with gender discrimination lawyers from Mann & Elias.

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