For many young people in the work force, strict workplace dress codes may seem like a stuffy relic from a more conservative time. Surveys have shown a relaxing of standards around what is acceptable to wear to work these days – perhaps thanks in part to Silicon Valley’s startup culture and Mark Zuckerberg’s now iconic hoodie uniform – and we seem to be moving toward a general consensus that letting employees express their personal style is good for morale. When you add on the fact that dress codes can sometimes be loaded with implicit racial or cultural bias (i.e. the fact that dreadlocks or cornrows are still considered “unprofessional looking” in some corners of corporate America), it’s easy to understand why many are eager to move away from that suit & tie life.
Unfortunately, not all bosses are on the wave yet – and some are still downright discriminatory, as June J. Rivas recently learned. After wearing a head scarf to work one day, Rivas was reprimanded by her boss, who felt the look was inappropriate. In a Facebook post, Rivas shared a photo of herself dressed in business casual topped with the head scarf, explaining, “So my boss didn’t like me wearing my hair in a ponytail every day. ‘Unprofessional.’ Nor my hair in a scarf. ‘Unprofessional.’ Nor my hair in pigtails. ‘Unprofessional.’ So I filed a harassment complaint against her as our contract states ‘No dress code. Just be clean and pressed.’”
After her harassment complaint, Rivas’ boss simply sent out a memo with a new dress code that explicitly banned ponytails, pigtails, straps, hats, sandals, cleavage, exposed backs, lace, and “cultural head wraps.” [? at “cultural head wraps”…]
Rivas, who is not one to back down, responded in the best possible way. First, she took the new memo and reported her boss to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – but, while that investigation continues, Rivas decided to show up to work in a variety of full cosplay outfits that happened to comply with the new dress code, just in a… creative way.
In sum, this woman is a legend. #NeverPissOffCosplayingScorpios are now our words to live by.