Ohio hospital drops rule requiring women to wear pantyhose

AKRON, Ohio — Women at an Ohio hospital system can once again skip the pantyhose while wearing dresses and skirts because a revised dress code was put in place this week.

Akron-based Summa Health system notified its 8,000 employees on Wednesday about changes to a dress code that raised the ire of some women when it was implemented nearly two years ago by the previous administration, The Akron Beacon Journal has reported (http://bit.ly/2rGRdZQ ).

Summa officials said at the time the system's dress code was meant to boost professionalism and safety, according to the newspaper.

A new interim CEO was appointed just over two months ago. Dr. Cliff Deveny told the newspaper that he heard about the dress code from employees during meetings.

A Summa Health senior vice president for human resources said in a memo issued Wednesday that a focus group of employees provided feedback about the changes.

"As always, the purpose of our dress code is to ensure all Summa Health employees maintain a professional appearance when interacting with our patients and the community," the vice president, Lorraine Washington, wrote.

There are other revisions that female employees might find favor with. They are once again allowed to wear open-toe shoes and "professional" capri pants. Small-studded nose piercings are now permitted and employees no longer must cover non-offensive tattoos.

Not everything has changed. The new rules still require "natural" hair color and include a list of shades that don't include purple or pink. And, just for men, facial hair must be "groomed and maintained."

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Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com

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