- The Texas Department of Agriculture sent employees a new dress code last week.
- It says staff must dress “according to their biological gender,” listing example clothing.
- The memo says non-compliance will be met with escalating penalties, including dismissal.
The Texas Department of Agriculture has threatened to fire staff who fail to comply with a new dress code that requires people to dress “consistent with their biological gender.”
The full policy was in a memo distributed to employees last week. The Texas Observer first reported its existence.and the The Texas Tribune later published the document..
It establishes what agency employees must wear to the office to “reflect the culture, dignity and professionalism of the Texas Department of Agriculture.”
He provided an extensive list of acceptable and unacceptable clothing, from a ban on Crocs, a guide to skirt length, and a nod on cowboy hats.
The dress requirements were given along gender lines and came with the note that staff “are expected to adhere to this dress code in a manner consistent with their biological gender.”
Breaking the rules would lead to “corrective action” such as being sent home to change, with further penalties “up to and including dismissal,” he said.
Setting out clothing options for men, he said, “Business attire includes a long-sleeved dress shirt, tie, and a sports jacket worn with slacks and dress shoes or boots.”
“Appropriate” attire for women, as described in the memo, includes not showing “excessive cleavage” and skirts “four inches from the knee.”
“For women, business attire includes tailored pantsuits, business-style dresses, coordinating separates worn with or without a blazer, and conservative, closed-toe shoes or boots,” she said.
“You are a professional, you look like one,” the memo added.
The agency did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside of normal business hours.
An employee, who was not identified, told the Texas Observer that the policy “appears to threaten the safety of anyone who does not conform to the binary dress code.”
The report came as Texas and many other US states are cracking down on transgender rights.
Since 2020, a a large number of anti-transgender laws have been created across the country, including measures that prohibit transgender children playing on sports teams to ban doctors give trans youth treatments like hormone blockers.
More anti-transgender legislation was introduced this year in Texas than in any other state, Axios reported earlier this month.
The Texas Department of Agriculture is led by Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a Republican first elected to his position in 2014. Miller has also been a prominent patron of former President Donald Trump since 2016.
When Trump signed a law banning transgender people from serving in the military in 2017, Miller said he was “thrilled.” according to the Big Country home page.