Read the memo

Women at the Daily Journal warned to dress better *

federal-courthouse.jpgReporters may get sent to the U.S. courthouse and need to look professional. LAO photo.

A dress code memo went out Monday at the Los Angeles Daily Journal reminding the inmates to dress professionally. While the rule reminders are not specifically addressed to women, the warnings seem clearly targeted. There's even a summer vibe. No tank tops. No midriffs. Crop pants, yes. Capris, no. Shoes must have ankle straps. And for everybody, the rule in Los Angeles daily legal journalism is no jeans: not pants, skirts or jackets.

* Added: I redacted the list of recipients, but a contact pointed out that all of the names were female.

From: Human Resources
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 2:51 PM
Subject: Dress Code Reminder

It’s time for a reminder about our dress code policy. Attached is the Dress Code section from our Personnel Policies Handbook. I want to emphasize the items below.

• Tank or spaghetti strap tops can only be worn with some type of cover-up like a sweater or jacket. They are not to be worn alone.

• Pedal pushers are now more commonly known as capris. Capris fall somewhere between the knee and mid-calf. These are not acceptable. Crop or ankle pants that fall somewhere between mid-calf and the ankle are acceptable.

• Leggings are more common in fall and winter but I’m going to say it now, no leggings! In the office, leggings are not a substitute for pants/slacks.

• Jeans material of any color is not to be worn. No pants, skirts, jackets, etc.

• For safety purposes, strapless flojo, slip-on, or slipper-type sandals/shoes are not allowed. The shoe must have some type of strap around the ankle.

Supervisors, it is your responsibility to make sure your staff complies with the dress code.

I appreciate your cooperation in following the company’s policies.

Thank you.

Michelle Stephens
Human Resources Manager
Daily Journal Corporation

I queried Stephens and editor David Houston whether the reminder was spurred by a specific incident. No response. Here's the relevant section from the Daily Journal employee manual, which adds a bit more detail. No sneakers except for messengers.

During regular business hours, it is important for all employees to project the business image of the Daily Journal Corporation. Employees must use their best judgment when dressing for work each day. Following is a guideline of what will be viewed as unacceptable attire:

  • jeans of any color – this extends to jackets and skirts

  • inappropriate slacks or pants including sweatpants, exercise pants, shorts, pedal pushers, and leggings.

  • sports attire

  • tee-shirts of any color (with or without logos)

  • tank tops, spaghetti straps, strapless, halter-type or backless tops

  • clothing that exposes the midriff area

  • tennis shoes of any kind (with the exception of messengers)

  • for safety purposes and per OSHA standards, the use of strapless flojo, slip-on, or slipper-type sandals/shoes

Employees and contract personnel (sales staff, reporters, photographers, supervisors) meeting the public are expected at all times to dress in acceptable business attire.

Supervisors are responsible for compliance with the dress code. Employees failing to meet these requirements may be sent home and considered absent without pay for any time spent out of the office to change clothes and return to work. Continuing violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

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