Ask HR: Employee showing up un-showered. What can I say?

Dear HR,

My employee is showing up to work dressed in very wrinkly clothes (looks like they pulled them straight from the laundry basket), and their body odor makes my eyes water. I actually had a customer complain about it yesterday. What can I do or say?


HR Answer:

Having an employee with hygiene issues can be a delicate situation. As long as you have a legitimate business reason (such as your employee interacting with customers) you may establish a dress code, hygiene rules and grooming standards. You need to make sure your policy is nondiscriminatory.

It is important that your employees have a clear understanding of what your policy and standards are. Verbal conversations are a great way to start when addressing your concerns. Please contact Cardinal if you would like help establishing a new policy or updating your employee handbook.