Halloween is a time for fun. But what does that mean when you are at work? Halloween in the workplace can be very tricky and not much of a treat.
If you are going to wear a costume to work, be mindful of the following items, among others:
- costumes should not be sexy or provocative;
- costumes should comply with workplace dress code policies;
- costumes should comply with workplace anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies;
- costumes should not be inappropriate;
- costumes should not be religious;
- costumes should not be offensive to others;
- costumes should not be so realistic or scary that they may result in health issues to others; and
- costumes should comply with all safety requirements of your office
Keep in mind that Halloween is a religious holiday. As such, some employees may not want to participate in a Halloween party, costumes or events because of their religious beliefs. Employees should not be mandated to attend any Halloween parties or events or made to feel bad about their decisions. Employees should not be retaliated against for their non-attendance on Halloween or afterwards. Employees should not be harassed by colleagues or their supervisors to attend these events.
Employees should be reminded of all company policies prior to Halloween as Halloween events and parties could result in legal claims of, without limitation, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, overtime, worker’s compensation.
Employees who believe they have been treated in an inappropriate or illegal manner should immediately report the conduct as required by their employer. They may also want to consult with an attorney to find out more about their rights and options and to determine if they can take legal action, if they so choose. Contact Sheree Donath at (516) 522-2743 or at Sheree@DonathLaw.com to obtain more information to learn more about your rights and obligations at work.