Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller says staff must dress according to ‘biological gender’

The Texas Department of Agriculture has issued a new dress code policy that involves gender-specific guidelines, appropriate grooming standards, and a disciplinary process for violations.

In documents released earlier this week, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is requiring employees to comply with a “dress code in a manner consistent with their biological gender.”

“You are a professional, look like one,” reads the memo.

The policy includes a provision where TDA supervisors can “exercise reasonable discretion” when enforcing the guidelines, which include a long list of details for both men and women in regard to business, casual, and TDA uniform dress.

Some specifics include details on “Western attire” for men and women, giving permission for blue jeans and cowboy hats that “reflect favorably” on the organization. The guidelines explain, “Courtesy towards coworkers and one’s professional image to customers are factors to be used in assessing whether you are dressing in attire that is appropriate.”

Additionally, inappropriate attire for women includes “excessive cleavage” or skirts higher than four inches above the knees. For men, “Crocs” or slides are not allowed, as well as “any extreme style or fashion.”

Employees who violate the new dress and grooming codes, which includes having offensive body odor, will be sent home, told to change and “properly groom,” and then return to work.

These new clothing and grooming standards come on the heels of the Texas House approving the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, which would add to the property, education, and labor codes a provision “referring to discrimination because of race or on the basis of race” that includes “protective hairstyles commonly or historically associated with race.”

Some have suggested that these policies are part of “hostile legislation at the Capitol” that targets transgender and LGBT individuals. The Texas Tribune published a statement from an LGBT advocate who criticized “vague language” in TDA’s dress code and questioned the standards: “Are women no longer allowed to wear suits? Can men wear necklaces?”

The policies do include provisions for women’s business attire where “tailored pantsuits” are permitted. There are no mentions of jewelry in the document.

Miller took to social media in response to push back on his new policies, “Dressing professionally and respectfully is about creating an appropriate and comfortable work environment for EVERYONE. This is common sense and common courtesy.”
Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher is the editor and publisher of High Plains Pundit. Dan is also the host of the popular High Plains Pundit Podcast.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post