Dress Code Blues?

by Bethany Wright on October 7, 2019

in Compliance

The Dress Code

Why can’t we wear leggings? Why can’t I color all of my hair bright pink? Why can’t we just wear jeans every day? I can’t afford to buy clothes just for work!

Does any of that sound familiar? If so, it sounds like you are suffering from the Dress Code Blues, and you aren’t alone.

Times are changing, and so are the types of clothing your employees want to wear while at work. Many companies have begun allowing more casual dress codes at their places of business, and this means employees are wanting to have the same options at work.

Companies employ people from many different backgrounds, and there will always be differing opinions on what should or shouldn’t be allowed. Depending on your company culture, determine what sort of policy best fits your particular business. Having a distinct reason for your dress code sets your business up to create an effective policy. Without a specific reason for your dress code, you may find that employees are less likely to accept what you present.

Whether you believe in a professional business atmosphere, or you have specific safety reasons for types of clothing allowed, give your employees clear guidelines on what they can and cannot wear while working. Outlining specific requirements in your policy gives employees the guidance they need to make decisions and not stress about whether or not their attire is appropriate.

If you have different rules for different types of positions, or if “Casual Fridays” are a thing at your office, ensure that employees understand what is and isn’t allowed. For example, if your sales team meets with clients regularly, you may ask them to wear professional business attire any time they’re meeting (in person or via video) clients. They may then be allowed to wear business casual on those days they are not meeting with clients. Or, maybe you have a higher standard for your “front of the house” employees, versus those who are in the “back of the house” that are not customer facing. Either way, those differences should be explained in your policy so employees are aware of what is expected.

When creating your policy, be sure to keep your policy gender neutral to prevent a discriminatory impact. If your policy unfairly impacts employees of a particular gender, it could be problematic.

Once your policy is created or updated, train your supervisory staff on the policy and what process to follow if an employee is not abiding by the policy. Your employees may not be thrilled to hear about the dress code, but if you explain your reasoning behind the rules, they are more likely to accept it.

The key is figuring out what is appropriate for your workplace culture and simply making the expectations clear.



From grapes to olives, to their award-winning end products, this 5th generation family farm leads the industry with a trailblazing spirit. Did you know…

  1. For more than 45 years the Durant family of Red Ridge Farms has acted as stewards of the land on the hillside they call home. Over the years their vision has grown to include Durant Vineyards Winery & Tasting Room, award winning Durant Olive Mill extra virgin olive oil, Durant Culinary, Durant Body Care, a specialty plant nursery, gift shop, overnight lodging, event space and expansive gardens.
  2. Nestled in the Dundee Hills, in 1973 the Durant family was among the first in Oregon to attempt growing wine grapes. First and foremost they are viticulturists who remain true to the block. As founders in the Oregon wine industry, they are most proud of producing fruit for some of the best wineries in Oregon, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris grapes. The family aims to reflect this same tradition and quality in Durant Vineyards wine.
  3. In 2004 the Durant family planted 17 acres of olives, establishing one of the first olive orchards in Oregon. Now with the first, and to date only, commercial olive mill in Oregon, they handcraft signature oils with their own distinctive aromas and flavors, using olives sourced from their own grove and outstanding growers in Northern California. They are home to the only olioteca in the Pacific Northwest. And in addition to their own agronomical experimentation, Red Ridge Farms sells olive trees that fare well in this region. If you’re curious about how to grow olives yourself, download their Olive Tree Guide (PDF).
  4. Farm visitors can meander the beautifully manicured grounds which feature a lovely Lavender field, wisteria covered pergola, Zen fountain and koi pond, and a knot garden with a twisting path of interconnected hedges consisting of aromatic plants and culinary herbs. Of course visitors can also taste and shop the farm’s bounty of products.
  5. Built as a getaway for couples or small groups, the Durant family offers access to two private lodging options, The Garden Suite and Stoneycrest Cottage. With wine and olive oil at the center of every table, the family also hosts a bevy of food and beverage events that celebrate the diversity and complexity of Oregon agriculture, as well as educational classes for gardeners, cooks, olive oil enthusiasts and wine lovers alike.

Cascade is proud to feature this member, owned and operated by a family with deep and lasting connections to the land.



Jathan JanoveGreetings Cascade members!

As President of the Oregon Organization Development Network, as a former labor and employment law attorney, and as current columnist for SHRM, “Putting Humanity Into HR Compliance,” I am especially excited about this opportunity for HR professionals to learn OD fundamentals:

The Organization Development Certificate Program, offered on Wednesdays, October 16 through November 20, 2019, in Wilsonville.

As readers of my SHRM column know, I have a passion for HR to be seen by organization leaders not as a cost to be tolerated but as an asset to be treasured. I know of many organizations where HR is a mere afterthought of the CEO. But I also know of organizations where the CEO’s most trusted and valued resource is HR.

Combining HR compliance and claim prevention responsibilities with concepts and techniques from the OD field is the way to move from tolerated cost to treasured resource.

SHRM Certification Seal 2019We have a great group of instructors for this program. The sessions will be interactive and customized to maximize takeaway value.

I look forward to seeing you in October!

Best regards,
Jathan Janove, JD



Numbers And Finance

Where does the salary market data you are using come from? Are the companies that participate in the data comparable to your organization? Who compiled the data and audited it for accuracy? When was the data pulled? All of these and more should be questions asked when using salary market data to inform your organizational pay practices.

With the internet at our fingertips, it is easy to find free salary data. But if that is what you are using to establish your pay levels, take caution that you might not be getting the most accurate information. Internet data is most often self-reported or crowdsourced and can be quite inaccurate.

Self-reported data is usually based on job title alone and as HR professionals know, job titles and job descriptions can vary greatly. An Office Manager in one industry may have very different job duties than an Office Manager in another industry. By using a reputable salary survey source such as Salary Trends™ you will know that the job duties are aligned for the reported data. The duties can be aligned by industry, company size, as well as company revenue. With the objective third party data, you will know that the data reported is comparing apples to apples, in that the job descriptions are similar even if the job titles may differ.

Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for self-reported data to be inflated, as individuals may report a miscalculated annual base salary, omit incentives and/or bonuses, or even purposely inflate for personal reasons. With professionally sourced data you’ll know that there is no bias involved with what is reported and the data is valid and reliable. When Cascade compiles data for its surveys, it goes through a lengthy process to ensure the data is accurate, valid and reliable.

Finally, with self-reported or crowdsourced data you can’t be sure of the age of the data. When reviewing a job title from a free online source you can’t be certain that the data being provided is current. It may be that you are looking at data that is a year or more old. By using a professionally sourced salary survey source like Salary Trends™ you will know the effective date of your data and can be confident that the data is current.

It is also important to gather data from multiple reliable salary sources to ensure you are obtaining a complete picture of the market. Different surveys may report on different companies and may break down data uniquely.

When an average 70% of gross revenues is spent on employee salaries and benefit costs, being confident about how employees are being paid is imperative. Using reliable salary survey data ensures that you can be competitive in the market and stay on top of the trends. Knowing that the data you are using to set salaries and incentives is current, accurate, and reliable can bring peace of mind to your employees and bottom line.

If you are interested in obtaining our reliable salary survey data or having our Compensation Team perform a market analysis for you using multiple reliable salary sources, contact Cascade Employers Association today.

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