In the News

This 17-year-old is standing up against unfair dress code policies

17-year old Sylva Stoel is just your average teenager working a retail job for the summer. But this week, the South Dakota teen and feminist blogger quit her job at J.C. Penney’s when asked to change out of “too revealing” shorts she'd worn to work. The problem? She bought those shorts at the store where she worked—in the “career section,” no less. 

After tweeting about how she was sent home from work for wearing clothes bought at her work and specifically marketed as work-appropriate, the teen's story started to go viral, with people all over weighing in.



So what went wrong? According to the J.C. Penney dress code, policy strictly prohibits both male and female employees from wearing shorts. But according to the teen, the manager at her job orientation failed to mention that shorts were unacceptable. Yikes...

Sylva told Mic, “The only word the manager said on dress code during my job orientation was that denim was not allowed, T-shirts were unacceptable, spaghetti-strap tank tops weren’t allowed and skirts couldn’t be ‘too short.’” She's shared stories on her Twitter of male coworkers breaking the dress code by wearing T-shirts or jeans to work without being sent home to change.


But the teen doesn't want to take what she considers to be dress code discrimination lying down. Sylva is speaking out against unfairly gendered policies all over and encouraging teens, employees and employers to question why the rules are what they are—and what we can do to keep them fair.


What do you think about Sylva's stance on dress code policies? Do you agree that dress codes are getting out of hand? Weigh in below in the comments.

Photo credit: Sylva Stoel


by Samantha Subin | 2/1/2016