When Cosplayer June Rivas was called into her boss’s office and told her recent work attire and hair style had been “unprofessional” she decided to respond using her favorite hobby, Cosplay. In the picture above on the left you can see what she wore on a typical day, a simple off white pants suit and head scarf, seems pretty much the usual office wear one would expect a co-worker to wear wouldn’t you say? What Rivas decided to do after that day is perfectly Nerdy.
Here’s the Facebook post, the page has since been taken down, not sure why yet.
Complying just meant she would follow the rules, with a nerdy twist, she’d cosplay those days. Making sure her outfits would strictly follow her boss’s new dress code Rivas wore Star Trek uniforms, a Padme’s white Star Wars outfit, Black Widow and others, taking pictures and posting them to Facebook each day.
That Emma Frost bustier might have been a problem if she had not worn that white shirt beneath it, but each outfit followed the guidelines set out in the new dress code.
This story has been making the Internet rounds and over at Kotaku one of the commenters claimed to work with Rivas saying:
Coworker of the cosplayer; I saw the whole thing go down. So perhaps I can clarify a few things I’ve seen brought up in other comments:
-Our employer’s dress code, codified in the employee handbook, lists no specifics whatsoever. It only states that employees must dress professionally for the duties to which they are assigned. The specific “banned items” were, as others mentioned and as is stated in the article, augmented in an office memo (i.e., not a policy change which would impact all offices of our employer) after this employee had been working here for some time. Those provisions were not part of the employee handbook at the time of this employee signing her contract, nor are they included in the handbook at this time.
-We have absolutely no customer interaction except through the intervening media of a computer screen and very occasionally a telephone which, despite the Vulcan garb on display, has not yet been upgraded to viewscreen capability. Literally nobody but our coworkers ever sees us except on our way to and from work. We could easily do this job from home, in our underwear, with a laptop and a VPN, except that would deprive our bosses of the fun of being able to nitpick our wardrobe when it suits them.
-The prohibition on “cultural head wraps” has since been lifted, so somebody must have realized the tone-deafness of that particular verbiage. Straps, hats, sandals, hoodies, and lace are still out, though, even for those of us that grew up watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and for which hats inspire particular reverence. I’m still waiting to hear back from the EEOC about not being allowed to wear my bullwhip and fedora (not the MRA kind! the Indy kind!) to work.
While this is an interesting and funny situation to many, the underlying principles are very important. The “cultural head wraps” prohibition, which is reported to have been removed, is certainly concerning and not in line with Federal workplace law.
Everyone has had a boss at some time overstep their boundaries and do something stupid like this. Standing up for your rights as an employee and a person is important. Often in the workplace, people just take what is handed to them without official complaint. While I would hope Rivas first tried to talk with someone in the companies HR department, or her boss’s boss, filing a EEOC is a valid option when a boss is overstepping her authority. Cosplaying to highlight your complaint is wonderfully nerdy.