German companies can force women to wear bras

German companies are now able to require that their female employees wear bras, according to a Cologne court ruling published last week.

The case addressed a dispute over an employee agreement by a firm that conducts airport security checks under a federal police contract.

Clauses in the contract demanded that women wear either white of nude coloured bras, or undershirts, to ‘preserve the orderly appearance of employer-provided uniforms.’

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According to the North Rhine-Westphalia state labour court, requiring female employees to wear a bra did not violate personal rights.

The ruling also defended the company’s right to require that fingernails be shorter than half a centimetre to protect passengers from injury, that ‘hair is always clean, never worn looking unwashed or oily’ and that ‘men are clean-shaven or have well-groomed beard.’

However, the security firm will no longer be able to dictate employees’ shad of nail varnish or hair colour, the court ruled.

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