Change in dress code policy at work

  1. Hi everyone, I just wanted to write a thread dedicated to work dress codes. I have been at my company for 18 years and I work in an office envirnoment and yesterday they have recently amended our dress code policy. My CEO who is based in Atlanta always tells us not to sweat the small stuff and wants us to be comfortable at work so he recently said he does not care if people wear jeans to work. I thought it was cool becasue now I have more options other than wearing my dress clothes everyday. But really the most important thing to me and the way I like to express myself and feel comfortable is through my shoes and accessories. The most recent change at the division I work at is the change in our shoe policy. We cannot wear any heels over 3" and they have to be a block style heel. When I read this sentence I was heart broken and it made me very sad. After talking to one of my closest co-workers I was so emotional and had to go in my office because i was going to cry. I have a huge shoe collection and I love all of them equally and I am heart broken today. I love fashion so much and I think I may need to find a new job after 18 years!!!

    The thing that bothers me the most is that this is not in my dresscode that was written at the corporate level, but it was written at a divisional level. I was told by a female manager that wears a 3" block style heel all the time and those are the only shoes she really wears, that when they came to this decision it was a huge deal and they had shoes all over a conference table measuring them. They also called in another of my female co-workers to measure her shoes, but they did not call me. I really am the only female in my company that enjoys dressing nicely and wearing heels sometimes platforms, but I don't mind giving up platforms its just most of my 4" heels that I am upset about (non-platform). I feel as if I am discriminated against because this does not affect anyone other than me in my workplace. I am reaching out to my fellow TPF family for support and advice. They have it written in the employee handbook that it is for safety purposes, but really I do not see how they can allow 3" heels and not 4". I have been told by other people that I work with that my plant manager has a huge problem with my shoes so I feel it is directed at me and it makes me uncomfortable.
     
  2. Wow, I'm sorry. That's a terrible rule, and it really doesn't make much sense to me. Could you maybe try talking this woman's boss about this rule? I wish I had some good advice for you, but I'm not sure what you can do.
     
  3. Yes, I was going to try to talk to her on Monday. Not sure what I can really do about it either. I just know that we have other locations that the policy is not applicable.
     
  4. What is the reasoning behind the rule? I don't understand what possible difference it could make to anyone else what style or height of heels someone else wears? If anything, the heels are more professional... I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. It's a very silly rule change.
     
  5. I'd really have to know more about the work environment, clientele and personalities of the people involved. There are places where 4" thin/spike heels are not appropriate, no matter how good they look.

    Is it possible they think you're drawing attention? I can remember working in one job (formal offices) where only one woman out of nearly a hundred wore heels every day.

    My CEO who is based in Atlanta always tells us not to sweat the small stuff and wants us to be comfortable at work

    this is not in my dresscode that was written at the corporate level, but it was written at a divisional level.

    I feel as if I am discriminated against because this does not affect anyone other than me in my workplace.

    I have been told by other people that I work with that my plant manager has a huge problem with my shoes so I feel it is directed at me


    These are the points that concern me though and things that should be brought up to the CEO or another corporate representative above your division.

    There are two other words though that caught my attention; 'plant' and 'safety'. You say "I work in an office envirnoment", but then you mention a plant. If you mean some kind of manufacturing or processing facility and if your job takes you out of the office onto a plant floor, spike heels are not appropriate for safety reasons.

    Also, this may fit better in: http://forum.purseblog.com/career-and-workplace/
     
  6. Couple of other thoughts......

    You say "I really am the only female in my company that enjoys dressing nicely and wearing heels".

    Whether or not you're technically and legally right, wrong or indifferent, if you are the only person in your division who dresses a certain way and it's drawing this kind of attention from management, maybe you should reconsider how you dress for work.

    You mention having been there 18 years, so I'm assuming you're probably in your mid-30s or so and are probably vested in whatever retirement plan your company offers. Is this something you really want to change jobs over?
     
  7. I do work in a manufacturing plant and my job is production planner / buyer. Occasionally I do have to go onto the floor, but I never wear my heels I always change into flats. As far as the way I dress it is very professional and most of my work clothes come from JCREW and stores like that. I was recently looking at buying some 3" heels but they seem hard to find. Everything I have come accross at Jcrew are over 3". Yes I am in my mid 30's, but there are so many other reasons why I would want to leave other than this. I really love the type of work I do, but sales at my company have been declining at a rapid pace and I think its time to start looking at changing companies. I have been dressing this way for years and we've always had the same management team so I really don't understand why they need to change now. I guess I will just go with the flow and start dressing the way everyone else does, like a slob and not caring about personal apprearance. My statements that you highlighted in green are what concerns me too. I was going to express my concerns to an HR representative at the corporate level.

    The thing I find funny is that when the plant manager went to our HR here he said "How can we make her change her shoes when yours aren't professional either". He wears black tennis shoes everyday so its kind of a double standard IMO.
     
  8. Oh and one more thing, you mention you remember working in one job where one women wore heels everyday. You mention it was (formal offices) yes mine is not at all a formal office and we have about only 30 people in the office. It is a very laid back envirnoment. We all get along very well and the plant manager is offsite most of the time.

     
  9. Thank you snowblossom. Your support means a lot to me. This has been my only job in my career and I have always had to fight and stand up for myself. I worked my way up in this company my entire career. When I first started I worked in the warehouse for the 1st seven years and tried many times to get into the office to better myself. They passed my up for opportunites so many times, but then one day we had a plant manager and other supervisors that believed in me and gave me a chance. Since then I have been promoted about 5 times, but not at equal pay. So now this change in policy really makes me mad as it is directed at me for no reason. I do a great job for them and go above and beyond what I need to. I stay extra hours even though I am a salaried employee because I have such a high work ethic.
     
  10. My boyfriend is a consultant so he needs to travel every week and be on-site at all types of professional corporations. He has even worked for my company at the corp level. He knows the way I dress and he tells me it is like the other females he comes in counter with day-to-day. He tells me my 4"" CL's are beautiful shoes and they should be worn, but my YSL platforms should not be worn in the office LOL. There is a time and a place for them. He also said that he can guarantee women are wearing my types of shoes at other divisions in my company.
     
  11. Hi,


    My work instituted a shoe policy, yes a shoe policy, where you could no longer wear a skinny heel, no matter the height. They also said you could wear platforms but no higher than 3 inches. Everyone was in an uproar, I literally had to buy all new shoes.

    The reason they did it was due to the amount of worker's compensation claims that were occurring. Women had gotten their skinny heel stuck in cracks on the sidewalk and fell. Another woman got her skinny heel stuck in the stairs and fell all the way down. Many incidences like that caused the policy.

    I understand how you feel but I would not leave my work over that especially if you enjoy where you work. Jobs are hard to come by especially ones you like. So take the opportunity to buy some new shoes and take a different approach to fashion, you might like what comes your way. Good luck.
     
  12. Yes, I am working on looking for new shoes. I just wanted to know if other people had any situations to share and you had the same thing so it makes me feel better.
     
  13. The thing I find funny is that when the plant manager went to our HR here he said "How can we make her change her shoes

    He tells me my 4"" CL's

    Occasionally I do have to go onto the floor, but I never wear my heels I always change into flats. As far as the way I dress it is very professional and most of my work clothes come from JCREW and stores like that.


    Something's out of place there. You change to flats when you go on the floor, so that addresses the safety issue. You're not wearing tailored designer suits or short skirts. Mid 30s, you're not playing the tease or ingenue trying to distract the guys on the floor.

    I'm not really sure what to make of this.

    Almost sounds like somebody's got it in for you.
     
  14. Bummer.

    I get the worker's comp thing, even though I don't like it.

    Can you bring your CLs and change into them when you go out to lunch or go off-site for networking events or happy hour? That might make you feel better.

    One of the reasons I like working outside the home is so I can dress up. Otherwise I might as well be in sweats and bare feet.

    Choose your battles with your employer. Something like this may be perceived as trivial by co-workers, even if we on TPF don't think so. I wouldn't fight it, but if you do decide to talk to someone about it, maybe ask if it would be OK to wear the heels in certain places like off the manufacturing floor and in offices with customer access. I'm sure they don't ask their customers to change shoes.

    You don't have to make a decision about leaving now. You can put your profile out on linkedin and do some non-committal networking and see what pops up. Let the universe guide you to your next opportunity. (Yeah, I'm watching Oprah now.... :-s ) The most important thing is not to feel trapped in your job.
     
  15. Yes, I think someone has got it in for me too. I am definitely not trying to distract anyone and I really don't ever wear skirts that often. Sometimes I wear a striped casual dress, but the hemline is to the knee and I wear flat boots with it. Usually the times I wear my heels are with jeans or dress pants. It is just so strange becasue we have never had a safety incident, but they need to word it that its for safety so it doesn't look like its directed toward me.