Interns fired after proposing 'more flexible dress code'

Interns fired after proposing 'more flexible dress code'

A group of interns have learnt the hard way that the workplace is not necessarily a democracy, after they launched a petition to allow them to wear joggers to work as part of a proposed “more flexible dress code”.

The interns were asked not to return to work after they lodged the petition, with the intern responsible taking to Ask a Manager to discuss the issue – reports.

“I was able to get a summer internship at a company that does work in the industry I want to work in after I graduate,” the intern wrote.

“Even though the division I was hired to work in doesn’t deal with clients or customers, there still was a very strict dress code.

“I felt the dress code was overly strict but I wasn’t going to say anything, until I noticed one of the workers always wore flat shoes that were made from a fabric other than leather, or running shoes, even though both of these things were contrary to the dress code.”

The intern said they spoke with their manager about “being allowed some leeway” under the dress code and was told it was not possible, “despite the other person being allowed to do it”.

The interns were then called into a meeting and had their employment terminated.

“We were informed that due to our ‘unprofessional’ behaviour, we were being let go from our internships,” they wrote.

“We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it.

“Just before the meeting ended, one of the managers told us that the worker who was allowed to disobey the dress code was a former soldier who lost her leg and was therefore given permission to wear whatever kind of shoes she could walk in”.

The intern then commented that if they had known they would have “factored it into [their] argument”.

The post was met with general criticism, with one reader commenting: “Your workplace isn’t a democracy. At best, it’s a benevolent dictatorship. It might be a totalitarian regime. But either way, rounding up supporters and creating a petition is not appropriate.”

Another pointed out that the story was an “excellent example of how many college campus environments these days are not preparing young adults for the real world”.

Comments (1)

  • Melanie
    Thu, 7 Jul 2016 1:43pm BST
    Why is the dress code so strict? I am just as professional on our dress down day as I am on other days. If I were a client travelling, I would be much happier to be told the dress code was relaxed on the day of my visit - creased suits look worse than someone happy in their jeans

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