San Francisco court employees protest dress code crackdown


The union says it's much more than a fight against the fashion police -- some of the 420 court employees are upset with how the dress code is being implemented. The rules have been on the books since 1996, including no tank tops, cutoffs beach wear or warm-ups.

But enforcement was lax and now there's a crackdown.

"By nature it's a conservative institution that has always expected people to be appropriately dressed," court executive officer Michael Yuen said. "I've seen sweatshirts, sweat suits, track suits. This is not a gym, it's a court."

He wants the men in dress shirts and ties.

"It is a courthouse, a business environment and we have to respect that," superior court clerk Paul Fiol said.

All of the employees got a memo in December reminding them of the dress code.

"If the established rules say business professional, that's what I'm going with," superior court clerk Verlinda Jones said. "It's uncomfortable and expensive."

The union spokesperson says they don't have a problem with there being a dress code, but feel it's being arbitrarily enforced with no clear rules.

Jean Tualla says she was reprimanded.

"He said, 'You don't look business-like and professional, so I'm sending you home today without pay,'" she said.

The union, SEIU, has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the state.

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