Welcome to the Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association

The Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) is a nonprofit organization comprised of employment law attorneys from around the state who share in a common mission; providing quality representation to employees and vindicating employees’ rights.

To that end, CELA’s members work collaboratively to:

  • Promote and increase public awareness of the rights of individual employees;
  • Furnish educational opportunities for attorneys who represent employees;
  • Assist lawyers who actively represent employees in employment related disputes by:
  • Providing ready access to knowledgeable colleagues;
  • Relieving the sense of professional isolation experienced by many employment lawyers who practice in solo or small firms; and
  • Promoting social and cultural exchange among attorneys and other interested groups.
  • Promote the intellectual and professional interests of attorneys who represent employees;
  • Provide the public with accessibility to skilled legal counsel who are well versed and accomplished in the complex area of employment law; and
  • Provide educational training and instructional activities for members, the general bar and for the public.

Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association Weekly

Topic of the Week  Fashion Statement: Fashion Do’s and Don’ts at Work

  • Policy and industry norms.
  • Customer contact.
  • Change of clothing.
  • Not a distraction.

Fashion Statement: Fashion Do’s and Don’ts at Work

Let me start this column about work fashion with a brief history of dressing down at work. In 1966 an entrepreneurial Hawaiian shirt manufacturer created "Aloha Fridays" where people were encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts to work. You’ll immediately notice this tradition if you watch the news in our 50th state on Fridays. Despite the nonstop selling from the Men’s Wearhouse guy to keep us in suits, dressing down eventually morphed into "Casual Friday." During the recession the no-tie-and-dress brigade got a boost when many companies relaxed their policies as a way to provide a no-cost perk to employees. I’ve seen polls that say the major fashion no-no’s at work today include: strapless, backless and see-through clothing, ripped or torn clothes, hoodies, cleavage and black shoes with white socks.

I didn’t make that last one up, so most of the guys in Jersey need to spring for some colored socks moving forward. One interesting finding was that tattoos are both more common and more accepted than in years past. But all it takes is one hot day to throw your comfortable routine into a tizzy. Can I wear flip-flops or shorts to work? Which leads me to two questions, has all of this dressing down gone too far? And how do you successfully juggle your job and your "look" at work? I’ve got four strategies to help you sort it all out.

Policy and industry norms. Hospitals have different clothing vibe than a PR firm. So the place to start your fashion journey is to know your corporate policy and industry norms. I can’t believe I’m quoting this old phrase, but there is some truth to the idea of "Dress for the position you want, not the one you have." Also do you really want to lose credibility where you earn your livelihood over an a fashion choice?

Customer contact. If you regularly deal with customers or top executives at your firm, you might be required to overdress compared to your peers. The bar is just higher for you than for your colleagues.

Change of clothing. I work at a TV station and there are racks of clothing and ties all over the place. Wherever you work, it makes sense to have a change of clothing ready to go at a moment’s notice. You never know when a big customer or mucky-muck from HQ can wander through. Today we all need to be quick-change artists at work.

Not a distraction. Let’s face it, you want people talking about the quality of your work not your threads. Sure an occasional compliment for a blouse or blazer is great. But if your sartorial choices become a regular topic of conversation for the office gossip mill, you probably need to spend some quality time with a department store personal shopper.

The last thing you need at work right now is a dressing down over dressing down. Dress like Lady Gaga and Flavor Flav on the weekends, but more like Clark Kent at work.

Wise Words:
"Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it." – Woody Allen

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss’s Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him viabob@workplace911.com.

Thought of the Week

“For I can raise no money by vile means.”

–William Shakespeare

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Labor Department wants to reward financial advisors at the expense of consumers

The Labor Department would like to delay a rule that would require financial advisors to act in the best interest of their customers and their retirement accounts.

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Women Should Not Have to Choose Between Employment and Safety: In Garment Factories They Do
  2. Here’s Another Way Working Mothers Are Penalized
  3. The Persistent Problem of Gender Inequality
  4. Wells Fargo Scandal Helps Consumer Advocates in CFPB Rule Fight
  5. Why the First Amendment won’t protect Charlottesville white supremacists from being fired

List of the Week

from Careerbuilder.com

Lax With Laptops: Computer Insecurity

  • 9% of workers have downloaded a virus on their computer at work.
  • 18% of workers have opened an attachment or clicked on a link from a sender they didn’t know.
  • 18% have looked at a website that they knew wasn’t secure while at work.