Letting Employees Dress in Costume on Halloween: A Nightmare?

10/11/2015 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)

As Halloween creeps around the corner, some employers will plan Halloween-themed office celebrations. But, what about employees who show up in inappropriate Halloween costumes? Dallas employer lawyer Keith Clouse believes that an employer does not have to forego a celebration altogether to avoid problems. Instead, an employer should anticipate—and ward off—potential pitfalls well before an event.

To do so, an employer should remind employees that they should not wear costumes that are inconsistent with the company’s harassment and diversity policies or at odds with the employer’s mission. For example, skeleton costumes may be appropriate at a manufacturing company but inappropriate at a hospital or a school; violent costumes, overly scary costumes, religious-oriented costumes, politically-themed costumes, and risqué costumes should be avoided in any workplace. To assert more control, an employer could suggest that employees dress in employer-approved themed costumes, such as super heroes or circus stars. An employer could also limit costume-wearing to a narrow time period, such as the first thirty minutes of the workday.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney about workplace legal issues, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.



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