Monday, August 3, 2015

Who Wears Short Shorts? - Not JC Penney, Apparently

When an employment law-related issue "goes viral", I feel like I have to weigh in on the ole blog here. By now, you may have seen this story: JC Penney employee sent home for wearing shorts she bought in store's career section. She went home and never came back, but went on an Internet tirade instead.
I think the appeal of the story is that the shorts were tagged "career" by JC Penney, but they were apparently not good enough for a "career" at JC Penney.

The young woman (w/Twitter handle "@queenfeminist") claims this was a sexist, anti-feminist rule against women showing too much skin. JC Penney claims it's a gender-neutral prohibition against anyone wearing shorts. For what it's worth, I've never seen employees wearing shorts in JC Penney... but concede that I'm not in there all that often, and our local store closed recently.

The employment law takeaways are limited:
  • If you have a "no shorts" policy, apply it evenly to men and women; 
  • If you have a dress code, notify your employees ahead of time (the young woman claims she was never informed of the dress code). 
Of course, the real question here is: What in the heck are "career" shorts? I'm hard-pressed to think of careers that involve those shorts.