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Photo: Artfully Photographer via Shutterstock Photo: Artfully Photographer via Shutterstock

Over the years, many employers have used employee grooming and dress policies to project a desired image in the marketplace. While much of corporate America has relaxed employee dress codes in recent years, many employers in the fashion industry continue to use such policies to project a desired image. Recently, state and local governments have passed new laws and increased enforcement of existing laws to protect employees from discrimination based on race or gender identity or expression in the workplace. Applicants and employees are now protected from employers’ imposition of dress and grooming standards that do not respect racial differences or that seek to impose grooming or dress standards that do not respect an employee’s chosen gender identity or expression. Employers that have not reviewed their dress and grooming policies and practices recently would be well advised to do so now.

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