Is this discriminatory?

While at a small company today as a visitor, I was told by the HR person that I needed to take my earrings out (I wear two earrings in each ear). I did as requested. Seeing my puzzled face, the HR person advised me that, at this company, it violates dress code for males to wear earrings. Females, however, had no such provisions. Women were allowed to wear earrings. In fact, I saw a few females with rings in their noses and eyebrows and the like, as well.

My question is this (keep in mind this is specific to Kentucky law): Is it discriminatory to have one rule for earrings for one gender, and another for the other? It seemed rather sexist and discriminatory to me. Does the company have a legal right to dictate different standards of appearance to each gender?

Would men be permitted to wear skirts at this company?

They probably have some blanket clause like ‘clothing becoming to one in a position of responsibility’ or similar. There’s nothing you can do with anything that broad (no offense intended).

Since you were a visitor, I don’t see how the dress code has any bearing. This story sounds like of weird.

Ratatoskk-brings up a good point about being a visitor. How can they “make” you wear or not wear certain things?

Anecdotel, but I will go on; I’ve been to court many times and I have seen a wide arrangement of clothing being worn, I would think that if anywhere a dress code was to be impressed upon someone it would be there, but the judge never mentioned it.

I know that doesn’t really have much to do with your specific case, but it was something strange I’d seen.

I thought so, too. But, since they were paying me, I wasn’t going to rock the boat, so to speak.

But Kamandi brings up a good point, too. If a male comformed to the standards of dress for female employees (ie, skirt, etc), would he have any legal recourse if they reprimanded him for it?

You were a visitor AND they were paying you? Were you contracting there? I think their “dress code” is crap but if they were paying you then I can at least understand how they could ask you to comply with it.

Expanding further …

If you are a contractor for them, were you informed when the contract was signed you must abide by their internal dress code (when visiting the home office)?

If you are a contractor, it seems to me you are contracted to perform a particular job and/or service as spelled out in the contract. Beyond that, you are under no other obligation to them.

I wonder if they would insist a visitor, under no obligation to them, would demand the same thing?

Are the wearing of personal adornments a health and safety issue? If so, why only women with nose rings and earrings?

As a visitor, a “paid” visitor, or an employee, something is not adding up here.