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Policy 5210

Dress Code

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish basic guidelines for appropriate work dress, which promote a positive image of the institution, but also allow for maximal flexibility to maintain good morale, respect individual religious, racial, gender-specific and ethnic attire, and give due consideration to safety and sound business practice.

II. Applicability 

Although the policy is an effort to establish some broad parameters for non-instructional employees, most departments have at least some uniqueness in terms of operating needs, such as customer expectations, and safety. Therefore, regulation of employee dress will be managed at the department level. Departments may establish more stringent requirements, based on sound business needs, but may not establish lower standards than those set forth herein.

III. Policy

  1. School Year Standard: This is the basic standard for the Academic Year, when classes are in session.
    1. Faculty:Faculty guidelines may be established by the Chief Academic Officer, if desired. This policy is not intended to apply to instructional faculty employees.
    2. Administrative Employees, and Academic and Administrative Support Employees: This group of employees comprise the majority of office employees, such as non-instructional professional employees in positions where a degree or advanced technical training is normally required; office support, secretarial and program support employees. Attire will be "business dress." For the purposes of this policy, "business dress" is defined minimally as slacks or skirt with shirt or blouse or dress, but some professional positions may require a tie, sports coat or suit, at senior managers' discretion. Attire needs to be professional at all times. As a general rule, the higher level the position and the more contact with the outside public, the higher the dress standard.
    3. Non Administrative Employees: Uniforms and safety shoes may be required by the department, but if not required, attire should be clean and neat. Managers will approve attire needed to perform tasks required. As a general rule, sweat suits, shorts, baggy-style pants, tennis shoes, and sandals are not acceptable.
    4. Work-Study Students: Students frequently work in support of regular department employees in return for state and federal financial aid subsidies. Dress for these employees is casual but not controversial. Some consideration must be given to the fact that students have limited means and are usually working between classes. If safety clothing or equipment is deemed necessary by the department, such clothing or equipment will be furnished by the department. Tee-shirts bearing language or art which is likely to offend others, torn clothing, unkempt appearance, or revealing clothing which exposes parts of the body typically covered in that work setting should be avoided.
  2. Summer, and School Year Vacation Period:This is the basic standard for periods between Commencement and the beginning of Fall classes; also covers other periods when classes are not in session due to school "breaks."
    1. Administrative Employees, and Academic and Administrative Support Employees: Attire will be "business casual." The principal differences between business dress and business casual are increased informality, such as the absence of tie, the substitution of polo shirt for dress shirt, the substitution
      of sweater for sports coat, and more informal skirts, dresses, pants and shoes. Attire needs to be professional at all times.Business casual dress in some areas may necessarily be "dressier" than in others due to the nature and frequency of contacts with the general public, the Board or government officials.
      1. Exceptions: Anytime scheduled meetings or other work commitments involve the general public, outside business representatives, Board members or government employees outside the institution, good judgment in choice of attire is expected. This will normally mean wearing business dress attire for that day.
    2. Non Administrative Employees: No difference from the School Year Standard.
  3. Fridays
    • Last Friday of the Month: "Dress Down" Day: Dress down days have become very popular as a strategy for improving moral and college spirit among employees. Dress down days will apply to administrative employees and academic and administrative support employees only.

      The last working Friday of each month, January through December will be considered a dress down day. Attire for dress down days will be "relaxed casual." Relaxed casual dress may include jeans, shorts of reasonable length (not cut-offs) and tennis shoes.
    • Exceptions:
      • Anytime scheduled meetings or other work commitments involve the general public, outside business representatives, Board members or government employees outside the institution, good judgment in choice of attire is expected. This will normally mean wearing business dress attire for that day.
      • Individuals employed in areas where safety equipment or other uniform or dress considerations are in place due to occupational health and safety or other business related reasons, must adhere to those safety standards deemed appropriate by the department head. This may preclude the wearing of shorts or tennis shoes, for example.
    • Spirit Day: All other Fridays will be considered "Spirit Day." Shirts with the Longwood logo will be worn on Spirit Day. Jeans and tennis shoes are allowed on those Fridays when the Longwood logo is worn.
    • Other Designated Dress-Down Days: The President may, from time to time, designate other days as dress down days in the interests of employee morale or in the interests of school spirit.
  4. Special Issues:
    • Religious, Racial, Gender-Specific or Ethic Attire: Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge rights at law relating to non-discrimination, or hinder the advancement of diversity at the institution. Significant flexibility in freedom of choice will be shown in relation to religious or ethnic attire. If controversies
      arise, the opinion of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia will be sought and relied on by the parties to the controversy.
    • Facial Hair, Jewelry, Hairstyles: Nothing in the policy is intended to regulate individual choices such as beards, jewelry or hairstyles. Job-related safety when operating potentially dangerous machinery with moving parts, or jobs with public health considerations such as serving or cooking food may nevertheless require some personal adjustments.

Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, September 7, 2002.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, March 25, 2011