Texas Ag Commissioner Says Employees’ Dress Must Align ‘With Their Biological Gender’

Texas Ag Commissioner Says Employees’ Dress Must Align ‘With Their Biological Gender’
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller speaks during a Texas Republican Party election night rally in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 8, 2022. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)
Jana J. Pruet

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has a new dress code and personal grooming policy that requires employees to wear clothing “consistent with their biological gender,” the policy reads.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller enacted the “Dress Code and Grooming Policy” earlier in April. The policy was first reported by the Texas Observer, and the document is dated April 13 (pdf).

“An employee’s appearance should reflect the culture, dignity, and professionalism of the Texas Department of Agriculture,” the policy states.

“All employees, regardless of assignment, are expected to present themselves in a professional manner that cultivates a favorable impression from coworkers, other government officials, agency customers and the general public.

“Employees are expected to comply with this dress code in a manner consistent with their biological gender.”

The policy applies to all TDA employees, interns, and contractors working for or on behalf of TDA, according to the document.

Miller’s office did not respond to a request for comment before press time.

What Else Does the Policy Say?

The dress code provides guidelines for attire, footwear, hair color, and piercings relating to various job duties and business activities.

Business attire is required for employees engaging with the public or other government officials in a professional capacity.

Business attire for men includes a “long-sleeved dress shirt, tie, and sport coat worn with dress shoes or boots.”

For women, business attire includes “tailored pantsuits, businesslike dresses, coordinated dressy separates worn with or without a blazer, and conservative, closed-toe shoes or boots.”

The policy also allows business casual attire, including Western clothing, for less formal occasions.

Employees may not wear T-shirts, tank tops, crop tops, shorts, or ripped or torn jeans. Clothing must be clean and neat.

As far as grooming, employees may not have fluorescent or unnatural hair colors. Nose, lip, or other facial piercings are also unacceptable.

Supervisors may determine attire appropriateness, and if an employee violates the policy, they may be asked to go home and change clothes before returning to work.

An employee who continues to violate the policy could lose their job.

“Violation of this agency policy includes remedies up to and including termination,” according to the document.

Miller has supported GOP legislation such as Senate Bill 15, which would ban biological men from participating in women’s sports in Texas.

In a March 29 tweet in support of the bill, Miller wrote that honoring and protecting every woman is the duty of every man.

“Transgenderism is a dangerous and mocking perversion of womanhood,” he said.

Jana J. Pruet is an award-winning investigative journalist. She covers news in Texas with a focus on politics, energy, and crime. She has reported for many media outlets over the years, including Reuters, The Dallas Morning News, and TheBlaze, among others. She has a journalism degree from Southern Methodist University. Send your story ideas to: [email protected]
Related Topics