dress code before clocking in

  1. the hospital that i work at has just started a policy that requires all employees to dress ''business casual'' when coming to work, at work, and leaving work...i am an ob nurse that wears scrubs..i come to work, change into hospital furnished scrubs, clock in and work....the policy now states, no jeans, gym shoes or sandals (unless wearing hose) will be worn to or from work...most nurses, wearing scrubs at work, don't own business casual....question: can a hospital require a dress policy when we haven't clocked in yet....?
    thank you
    dee
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  2. 44 Comments

  3. by   Dplear
    They cannot dictate what you wear on your own time. That alone would make me come to work in a tank top t shirt and torn jean shorts and flipflops everyday. Try to tell me otherwise...

    Dave
  4. by   OC_An Khe
    If you are an employee at will then the answer is yes they can. If you are covered by a Union contract then it is up to the contract or it becomes negotiable.
  5. by   Dplear
    Even if you are at at will employee the rights of the employer do not extend to time that is not paid by the employer and that includes up to the time that you clock in. Federal courts have upheld the right of the employee in those instances.

    Dave
  6. by   dee_OB
    no union for nursing in my hospital....
    where could i find the law that discusses: Even if you are at at will employee the rights of the employer do not extend to time that is not paid by the employer and that includes up to the time that you clock in. Federal courts have upheld the right of the employee in those instances.
    dee
  7. by   itsme
    I have always thought that what we do, what we wear on our own time is none of there business. If it is a union place and they want to do that, then on negotiations, go for a clothing/uniform allowence with the pay.
  8. by   Baby Catcher
    Now I've heard everything!
  9. by   movealong
    It just never fails to amaze me....the stuff like this that hospitals come up with. I mean, out of all the things to worry about about, they chose this?
  10. by   Robinette
    Does this apply to the docs too?


    I thought not.
  11. by   sjoe
    Every state in the union gets to make its own rules about things like this, or not make any if it chooses. Since you don't indicate the state, it's not possible to give you a specific response.

    I'd google, using:

    1) the name of your state,
    2) +
    3) the terms "labor law" or "labor code" and
    4) use the index that will likely come up in one of the links to find what your state has to say about it.

    What does your employee handbook have to say?

    Employers, of course, DO have some rights when it comes to employee behavior "off the clock" and certainly when that behavior occurs on employer property. Should you be able to show up for work in a swim suit until you clock in? Nude? Should you be able to sexually harrass other employees, so long as it occurs before you clock in or after you clock out?

    Breaking various laws, "acts reflecting negatively on the reputation of the facility," publicly slandering the facility, etc. all can be valid reasons for employer discipline/termination.
    Last edit by sjoe on Mar 29, '04
  12. by   dee_OB
    the state is illinois...i understand about the extremes ie nudity, swimsuits etc..but example for the summer, if shorts are worn for summer with sandals, then nylons will be worn under the sandals...to wear nylons under shorts for a 5 min walk through parking lot to get to locker room to change into scrubs, doesnt make sense..i understand that we must always look professional, that since we are on hospital property, we have to abide by the rules, but can a hospital dictate rules to employees when they are "off the clock"

    dee
  13. by   jemb
    Makes me wonder what people were wearing that prompted such a stupid rule. Sometimes it only takes one person doing something ridiculous to make it difficult for everyone else. (Probably not swim suits, but maybe something very revealing/provocative or those casual pajamas that some folks will even wear to go shopping.)

    My thought is that even if the labor law doesn't address an employer enforcing a dress code when you are off the clock, if you are an at will employee, you could be fired for not following their stupid rule.
  14. by   AmyLiz
    Quote from Baby Catcher
    Now I've heard everything!
    that makes two of us.

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