DATE: October 7, 2002
SUBJECT: Dress Policy
As Casual Summer ended as of Labor Day, the Chairman has been meeting with staff from various parts of the agency to discuss appropriate attire for our agency. After conferring with a task force, meeting with managers and personnel in the listening sessions, and considering the Labor Management Partnership Council's Family Friendly Initiatives, the Chairman authorizes the Office of Administration to issue the following guidelines for employees, effective October 7, 2002. We hope that these guidelines will help create a work environment that is worker friendly and more casual than traditional business attire, but one that maintains a sense of professionalism.
The Commission's dress policy is the same as that at all federal agencies employees shall wear Appropriate Dress at all times. What is Appropriate Dress varies according to the duties one performs, the work environment, and the level of one's interaction with people outside the Commission. In order to provide guidance to managers and staff, we have prepared some general guidelines and definitions regarding Appropriate Dress. The general guidelines apply for most of the professional staff (investigators, industry analysts, economists, and lawyers) in an office environment, as well as front office staff, as they typically meet with outside visitors and other federal employees on a routine basis. Application of these general guidelines to other staff is best left to line managers who are most familiar with the duties and responsibilities of their individual staff members. Any staff who have specific questions regarding appropriate dress should address those questions to their first line supervisor. Supervisors who have questions regarding the application of the general principles to specific situations should forward their questions to the Director of Administration.
Appropriate Dress for Commission staff is Business Casual in most circumstances. Business Formal dress presumptively is required for Commission staff involved in meetings with people outside the Commission, unless the person running the meeting has informed everyone in advance that Business Casual is appropriate for the meeting. Fridays are designated as Dress Down Friday and Appropriate Dress on Fridays for most staff is more casual than Business Casual. Finally, certain attire is always Inappropriate Dress, even on Dress Down Friday.
Business Formal dress is traditional business attire and typically requires coat and tie for men and a pants suit/dress/skirt for women. Business Formal attire is required when representing the Commission at hearings or conferences, or meeting with outside customers or other agencies, unless the person running the meeting has specified Business Casual attire.
Business Casual dress is a lesser standard and typically requires slacks and a collared shirt for men and the equivalent attire for women. It does not include jeans, tennis shoes, flip flops and the like.
Dress Down Friday:
Every Friday, Commission staff may dress down unless they are acting in a representative capacity that day and are required to wear Business Formal attire. On Dress Down Friday, Commission staff may wear jeans, t-shirts or other shirts without collars, and sneakers, but they may not wear Inappropriate Dress. At their discretion, supervisors may approve dressing down on other days for those employees performing a significant amount of manual labor on that day or those who do not work in an office environment, such as the print plant or the computer room.
Inappropriate Dress may not be worn under any circumstances. Inappropriate Dress includes shorts, threadbare jeans, workout clothes, and clothing with overt commercial, religious or political messages on them.
Supervisors may provide more specific guidance regarding appropriate attire consistent with these general guidelines and may send inappropriately dressed employees home, with charge of leave, to change their clothes. Employees are encouraged to ask their supervisor in advance if they have any question regarding the propriety of their dress so as to avoid being sent home to change their clothes with charge to leave. Employees who may have to attend meetings and the like without advance notice are encouraged to dress in anticipation of that occurrence or keep a change of clothes in their office.
Stephen A. McLaughlin
Office of Administration
Distribution: ALL EMPLOYEES