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Exposed: A short skirt is not an invitation for harassment

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HC Online | 15 Sep 2010, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Dress - or lack of it - can play a key role in sexual harassment cases. Harriet Stacey asks if employers should make judgments on the dress of workers. Should they decide whether it's too tight, too thin, too short?

  • Bernie Althofer | 16 Sep 2010, 11:43 AM Agree 0
    Dressing according to the work environment should be covered in dress policies. Whilst dress sense might be in the eye of the beholder and there is little doubt that a well dressed employee can draw compliments and even a prolonged stare or gaze, comments about what can or cannot be seen should be avoided. I saw some comments recently that indicates there is still a long way to go on the issue of respect and dignity. Some of the comments (about younger people) suggested that ''because they dressed that way, they were asking for it''. Some might believe these types of comments went out with the dark ages. However, they are still there and irrespective of how we choose to dress, we don''t ''ask for it'' whatever it might be. I suspect that there may be some young people who have not yet entered the workforce may have different ideas and beliefs about what is appropriate and acceptable behaviour. Certainly as I walk around the streets and overhear comments, I wonder how they will fit into workplaces, even with a good dress code that does make allowances for fashion, dressing down or even dressing up days. A good dress code and a good dress sense appropriate for the working environment can add to the professional appearance of those who work there, and of the business. No still does mean no and some comments are best left unsaid.
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