HP workers reject dress code rule in leaked memo

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A leaked memo from Hewlett-Packard showed they started asking certain programmers to not wear casual clothing, but workers revolted. (KGO-TV)

Hewlett-Packard is back-tracking after trying to make some of its workers in Silicon Valley ditch the jeans and t-shirts at the office. In that industry, every day is casual Friday so workers pushed back.

It started with a leaked memo in which Hewlett-Packard asked certain programmers to step it up in the wardrobe department. New rules reportedly included no t-shirts, jeans, baseball caps, or sandals.

"The idea of an engineer in Silicon Valley having to wear anything other than jeans and t-shirts, or whatever he or she wants to wear, strikes me as absurd," tech analyst Larry Magid says.

Many people agreed and unleashed their fashion fury on social media. Then HP's vice president of human resources released a mea culpa.

"What happens if it's like really hot and humid and you're like sweating in your suit and stuff like that? You rather be sweating in something that you feel more comfortable in and you can still work," Phuc Nguyen, a Luxe.com employee, said.

Not so fast, says Hossein Andarmani, the owner of Moda Italia, a men's wear store in San Jose.

"When I started I was 19 years old and everybody was getting all dressed up," Andarmani said. He thinks if you dress better, you'll work better. "People are getting lazy. You have to feel good. For example, myself, when I dress up, I work 10 times harder."

Magid believes the exact opposite is true.

"If your engineers want to dress casually, then let them dress casually and judge them by their code, not their dress code," Magid says.

He says happy equals productive.
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businesshewlett packarddress codeclothingmen's clothingsilicon valleytechnologyfashionSan JoseSan BrunoPalo Alto
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