Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include Massachusetts and California staff only unless otherwise indicated in the sections below. All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern.

Staff employees’ workplace attire, appearance and hygiene must be clean and neat. Dress should be business-casual or appropriate for the work performed and the work setting.

Policy Guidelines


This policy applies to all staff employees.

Respecting Cultural and Ethnic Expression

Emerson respects the cultural and ethnic expression of its employees with regard to attire and appearance.

Appearance and Hygiene

Expectations Staff employees are responsible for ensuring that their attire, appearance, grooming and cleanliness meet the standards of the College. Staff employees should generally direct questions about this policy to their managers in the first instance.

Scented Products

Many individuals are allergic to perfumes, colognes, scented products, scented air fresheners, air diffusers, and the like. Out of consideration to other employees, students and visitors, faculty and staff employees should be mindful of this fact and use these products sparingly, if at all.

Employees with allergies to scented products may require reasonable accommodation under the College’s “Reasonable Accommodations (Disabilities/Serious Medical Conditions) Policy”.

Therefore, employees may be asked to limit or refrain from using perfumes, colognes, or any other scented products and are expected to comply with this request.

Religious Accommodations

The College recognizes the importance of all employees’ sincerely held beliefs and will strive to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious beliefs in terms of workplace appearance and attire (See: Religious Accommodation policy). Questions about or requests for religious accommodation should be directed to Human Resources.

Departmental Expectations

Manager and employees should contact their Human Resources Business Partner with any questions they have about this policy and how it should be implemented in their particular department.

Other Information

Related Policies

Key Offices to Contact  

Please contact Human Resources for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.

Links to Procedures or Forms

Not applicable


Not applicable

The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment. This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.