Metro Alert: No Improper Cleavage
Metro workers no longer have the right to bare arms or, for that matter, any decolletage. A new edict about appropriate business attire recently sent out to all Metro employees lists at least three dozen items that are "not acceptable" for women.
They include "tops with plunging necklines," spaghetti straps, skirts and dresses shorter than 3 inches above the knee when standing, and anything made of denim.
The ban on jeans also applies to men, who make up most of Metro's work force. (Unclear what this means for the guys in emergency management who have those nifty denim shirts sporting the official Metro "M.")
The memo doesn't say what prompted managers to tighten the dress code. But it's well known that General Manager John B. Catoe Jr., who is always in a suit and tie, gets upset when uniformed employees don sports caps (instead of Metro caps) and frowns on jeans. His office overlooks Metro's main entrance.
Not surprisingly, there's been lots of grumbling, especially from women, who feel the policy is sexist. "Hell, even the First Lady has the right to bare arms," said one woman, who didn't want to be named for fear of retaliation.
The subject has spawned no shortage of wise-cracks. Instead of "BIE," or Brakes In
Emergency, which refers to a common train problem, one staffer joked about a proliferation of "SIEs," or "Skirts in Emergency."
So, who will be in charge of monitoring whether skirts are too short or too much flesh is showing? Individual supervisors. According to a six-page policy/instruction that went through multiple layers of review, four violations can lead to firing.
-- Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Editors
June 10, 2009; 1:36 PM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dress Code
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