Lisa Hooverville, a clerk at United Clerk Services Co. in Clearwater, was sent home early this past Thursday for violating the office’s dress code because of the denim face mask she was wearing.
“There’s a very strict rule about having to wear masks and I fully support that. I live with my grandmother and her immune system is not the strongest”, she said. “The mask I happened to have on that day looks like blue jeans but it’s not; it’s just a printed pattern on a regular cloth mask like everyone wears all the time.”
“The dress code policy is designed to help us all provide a consistent professional appearance to our customers and colleagues and it’s very clear. Our appearance reflects on ourselves and the company. The goal is to be sure that we maintain a positive appearance and not to offend customers, clients, or colleagues”, said office manager Jenifer Trippleton. “Employees are expected to dress in appropriate business attire, with the exception of Casual Fridays when blue jeans that are clean, free of holes, tears, or other signs of wear, free of offensive, suggestive or otherwise inappropriate designs or stamps, that are not revealing or so tight as to emphasize an individual’s physique. There is nothing in the policy that indicates it’s acceptable to wear jeans on one’s face. Of course, clothing and grooming styles dictated by religion or ethnicity are exempt.”
“But it’s the only mask I had that day”, protested Hooverville.
“Then you can go home and come back wearing it tomorrow”, retorted Trippleton. “Unless you’re exempt due to religion or ethnicity of course. But you aren’t, are you? Hmm, I didn’t think so. Make sure you clock out before you leave, please and thank you.”
Later, from her home in Feather Sound, Hooverville said, “Jenifer doesn’t like me but she doesn’t really like anyone. Nobody likes her either, if I’m being totally honest. I mean, the fact that she goes by ‘Jenifer’ and won’t let anyone call her ‘Jen’, including her husband, should tell you something. I guess I get it, though. A rule is a rule.”
“I’m just surprised that the masks with ‘ALL LIVES MATTER’ printed on them that she wears every day are allowed.”