Beware dress codes with gender-specific rules.

If your dress and grooming code includes gender-specific requirements, you could be courting a sex-discrimination lawsuit. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County ruled that discrimination based on gender identity was a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

One of the parties in that case was a transgender woman, Aimee, who lost her job as a funeral director because she refused to follow her employer's gender-based dress code. It said men had to wear suits and ties; women had to wear either a dress or a skirted suit. Aimee's announcement that she would wear women's clothing was too much for her boss, who fired her.

Aimee filed a sex-discrimination complaint with the EEOC, which sued on her behalf. The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, where a 6-3 majority concluded firing her was sex discrimination based on her gender identity.

Since then, most employers have changed their dress and grooming codes to be at least gender neutral.

Not all have, however. In fact, some have imposed even more gender-restrictive rules.

Take, for example, a recently leaked handbook rule revision for employees of the Texas Department of Agriculture...

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