This week, I noticed something strange in my community. I went to get some groceries at the local grocery store and dollar store, and I saw a new sign hanging on the door. The dollar store had the same sign. Even A&W has a sign on their door too!
According to these signs, people aren't getting dressed anymore. They're rolling out of bed and going to these stores wearing next to nothing. Or, they're walking over from the beach and roaming the stores barefoot and in swimsuits. No matter the reason, businesses aren't liking people walking in without clothes. And they're asking you nicely to put some on before you shop.
It's not illegal, but companies can still refuse service if you don't follow their rules
According to The Barefoot Alliance, there is no federal law that people wear shoes in most places. Some places on the East Coast have laws saying you need to wear shoes, but most states don't. So why are we seeing so many stores requiring shirts and shoes before you can walk inside and shop?
It's because companies are free to make a dress code before letting people inside their stores. Companies can refuse to serve you as long as their dress code doesn't actively discriminate against religion, race, or national origin. There isn't a federal law against LGBTQ discrimination, but most companies already enforce non-discrimination policies against the LGBTQ already.
Think about it like this. If a woman goes to the store wearing a hijab, a business can't kick her out of the store for wearing a hijab. That would be discriminating against her culture or religion. However, if that same woman comes in barefoot, the company has a right to kick her out because it's against the dress code.
It brings up one more part of the conversation. Businesses have every right to turn you away if you come into their store without a mask if there is a mask rule in effect.
If you get turned away for not wearing a mask, it's violating a dress code
As the Delta Variant races through the country, some major corporations are enforcing masks in their businesses once again. As of now, it's only areas with high or substantial spread, but anything could happen during the rest of this year.
Masks aren't a sign of race, religion, or national origin. If you get turned away for not wearing one, you're not being discriminated against; the company is enforcing its dress code.
It's amusing seeing reminders all over town telling people to put their clothes on before going shopping. It's also a reminder that companies can enforce dress codes as they see fit, as long as they're not actively discriminating against anyone. Remember that the next time you want to walk around shirtless and shoeless.
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