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Employee dressing inappropriately grounds for termination?

 October 31, 2017

Question:


Hi Jennifer, 

I have an employee who dresses inappropriately (in my opinion) on a regular basis.  Is this grounds for termination?

Thanks,
Dr. M
 
Answer: 

Dr. M, perfect Halloween question, except sounds like your issue is recurring!  And, right before our severance webinar!  A few questions before I can answer: (1) does your practice have a dress code or dress parameters designated? (2) is the employee "at will" or under contract with specific termination requirements?  (3) have you addressed with the employee your concerns with his/her presentation?  Depending on the answers to the above, I can answer whether or not you have grounds. 

Generally, it is best to have parameters for dress in your office policies and procedures.  If you do not have an employee handbook, we can help create and customize.  Best place to start is our compliance webpage - www.healthcarepracticecompliance.com.  Next step, we identify whether you have given warnings, whether necessary, and have followed practice protocol.  So long as the employee doesn't have a protected reason for the dress - religious belief or disability (perhaps a boot is (in the employee's mind) forcing him or her to wear bottoms you deem offensive?), if the employee is "'at will"' you can terminate at any time for any non-protected reason.  If the employee is contracted, termination must be in accordance with contract. 

Contact me direct to discuss specifics (516 747 6700 x. 302; jennifer@kirschenbaumesq.com.  Either I will get back to you or someone from my employment team.  
 


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