MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

California Mayor Wants To Regulate Private Sector Dress Codes

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris proposes a ban to loosen company policies on neckties.

|||Prasit Rodphan/Dreamstime.comPrasit Rodphan/Dreamstime.comA California mayor wants to pass legislation that would prevent employers in his city from requiring that male employees wear neck ties.

"I spend a lot of hours every week on an elliptical or a bike just to increase blood flow to my brain, and it turns out every morning when I put on a tie I'm diminishing it," Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris reportedly said.

Parris, who is also a litigator, cited a study in Neuroradiology that appears to support the idea that neck ties are harmful. The study looked into the effects of "socially desirable strangulation" and concluded that wearing a necktie, particularly a tight necktie, runs the risk of lowering cerebral blood flow, or CBF. Low CBF, as Parris argued, can cause serious issues for people suffering from ailments like high blood pressure.

The mayor also attacked the insistence that professional men wear neckties through a gender discrimination lens, saying, "I don't think it's appropriate in America today to make anyone do something that is now known to be detrimental to your health. Especially if it's based on gender." In a separate interview, Parris said, "It would be tantamount to us saying that women had to wear high heels. We know it's bad for them." (A New York City Human Rights Commission argued similarly in 2015, saying the requirement that men wear neckties is every bit as gendered as requiring that female employees wear skirts.)

Reason contacted Parris's office to learn whether the ban was intended for private employers in the city, or just the city government. Parris's office confirmed that he was, in fact, referring to private employers, and sent a press release reiterating that research shows ties restrict blood flow to the brain.

City attorney and municipal law expert Michael Colantuono told the Los Angeles Times that a private company would have the grounds to sue against such a prohibition. It's possible a court would strike down the law if private employers can prove it imposes an undue burden. In order to prevail in court, Parris would likely need to prove that neckties are a public health issue.

Photo Credit: |||Prasit Rodphan/Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Echo Chamber||

    Oh, FFS

  • Don't look at me.||

    My pants bind up my stuff. I shouldn't have to wear pants.
    My shoes hurt my feet, I shouldn't have to wear shoes to get service.
    My shirt makes me hot and uncomfortable, I shouldn't have to wear a shirt.

  • Longtobefree||

    You don't have to wear any of those things, in your house.
    You want to go out, you have to wear pants to avoid people accidentally laughing themselves to death.
    As to shirts and shoes, you will only have to give up certain types of food service establishments; there others that will accept you coin.
    So shut up and be Libertarian.

  • Trainer||

    "Shut up and be Libertarian."

    Is that the new party slogan?

  • Zeb||

    Right on! Fuck pants!

  • Jim Logajan||

    As long as the pants provide affirmative consent, go ahead.

  • Zeb||

    Don't tell me what to do.

  • TangoDelta||

    Oh that sounds good. Are they like ass-less chaps and where can I get me some Fuck pants?

    I've even got a new slogan for them, "Screw Levi's, go Fuck pants!"

  • Longtobefree||

    And high heels?

  • Zeb||

    That is in the post.

  • Citizen X||

    Sure, it sucks to wear a tie, but i'd argue that a government with the power, precedent, and micromanagerial urge to interfere in company dress codes sucks way worse.

  • ColoradoKook||

    I actually like wearing ties. They don't strangle me because I choose shirts that fit properly, and k know how to tie a tie properly.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Replace them with gold stars you fucking cuck.

  • Hackmaschine Mutter||

    OT: From "The Sun" FAMILIES trying to beat the summer heatwave have been ordered to remove their community paddling pool each night - in case a burglar DROWNS.

  • Antilles||

    Saw that too. Unbelievable. It reminds me of another story from London a few years back. A guy's mother kept getting burglarized, so he put barbed wire on top of her fence. But when a few burglars were injured while trying to climb the fence the police ordered him to take it down. Stories like that make me ashamed to be British.

  • Cathy L||

    I hear The Sun is fake news.

  • Trollificus||

    Perfect media outlet to cover what appears to be a fake police force.

  • Hugh Akston||

    How many private employers even require neckties anymore? Especially in a desert town in southern CA.

    In Los Angeles the only people who wear ties are lawyers on their way to court. Even dead people are buried in their Dodgers hoodies.

  • Rhywun||

    Even here in NYC, worker bees like me gave up ties almost a decade ago.

  • Calidissident||

    I work in finance in the LA area and unfortunately my employer still requires us to wear ties

  • Shirley Knott||

    Why do managers wear ties?
    To keep the foreskin from rising up.

  • Sevo||

    "I spend a lot of hours every week on an elliptical or a bike just to increase blood flow to my brain, and it turns out every morning when I put on a tie I'm diminishing it,"

    The tie AIN'T the problem, pal.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, he left himself wide open there.

  • Trollificus||

    He makes a solid case for some damage being done somewhere.

  • Zeb||

    I'll only wear a tie if there is going to be an open bar. Drinking is just better when you are dressed nicely.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    I stand with David Carradine on this. You can take my neck tie from my cold dead body.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    And then zipper up my pants, please.

  • Trollificus||

    +1, irreverence for the dead.

    Also, David Carradine isn't standing, you insensitive clod!

  • creech||

    We need fashion police to make sure men don't buy shirts with a too-tight neck size, pants with plenty of room in the crotch, shirts with long sleeves to ward off skin cancer, expensive shoes that a mugger might want to steal, and ridiculous colors that might cause passers-by to laugh and miss running into a lampost.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    tie I'm diminishing it,"

    It's not the tie that's diminishing it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "I spend a lot of hours every week on an elliptical or a bike just to increase blood flow to my brain, and it turns out every morning when I put on a tie I'm diminishing it,"

    Now that I think about it, it's probably the kale smoothies.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...it turns out every morning when I put on a tie I'm diminishing it...

    It shows.

  • HGW xx/7||

    Fuck the fucking fuckstain that is California. Fuck off and fucking slide into the Fucking Pacific Ocean.

    That is all.

  • Trollificus||

    I have some potentially beachfront property in Nevada to sell you, buddy.

  • Bubba Jones||

    California should mandate clip on ties for industrial safety!

    And then mandate that women wear them for equality! Surveys show a correlation between neck ties and executive positions.

  • Eddy||

    If he doesn't want to wear ties, then don't wear ties.

    I'm not saying he shouldn't have *any* neckwear...

    ...like scarves, that is.

  • Shirley Knott||

    A nice tasteful ascot in a shade that compliments his eyes.

  • Agammamon||

    A hempen 'scarf'?

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    Parris's office confirmed that he was, in fact, referring to private employers, and sent a press release reiterating that research shows ties restrict blood flow to the brain.

    I guess if Calif can ban soda straws based on the work of a nine year old, micromanaging employers by "Research shows" is only the next logical step.

    ** facepalm **

  • Agammamon||

    Parris, who is also a litigator, cited a study in Neuroradiology that appears to support the idea that neck ties are harmful. The study looked into the effects of "socially desirable strangulation" and concluded that wearing a necktie, particularly a tight necktie, runs the risk of lowering cerebral blood flow, or CBF. Low CBF, as Parris argued, can cause serious issues for people suffering from ailments like high blood pressure.

    So order the right sized shirts and ties you nincompoop. Christ. The only way a tie 'strangles' you is if you buy shirts with necks too small for your fat head or if you tie the damn tie too tight. Is your wife tying it for you? Then she's tired of your shit and trying to kill you.

  • steve walsh||

    +1

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    wearing a necktie, particularly a tight necktie, runs the risk of lowering cerebral blood flow, or CBF.

    Well, that explains a few things around here.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Notice that government agents almost always wear ties. Hmmmm

  • johnl||

    Anybody in Lancaster who wears a tie is commuting to LA. Also ties will never destroy braincells like Powerpoint, Windows, VI, or Perl. Ban those first.

  • MarkLastname||

    Right on! Smash the matriarchy!

  • Rossami||

    Must be nice that the City of Lancaster is so perfect that they have absolutely no higher priorities to worry about than the highly speculative harm of a social fashion. A fashion statement that, I might note, has pretty much zero cases of actually documented harm (as long as you don't get the stupid necktie caught in something).

    I wonder if this mayor is equally concerned about the documented health consequences of other fashion statements. Tattoos come to mind. But I suppose we shouldn't give him any ideas.

  • BobK||

    Interesting that the article cherry picks that he is in California and works out, which would conjure up the image of a flighty West Coast liberal, but fails to mention:

    Parris is a Republican

    Parris is a born-again Baptist

    Got crime reduced 40% in his first term

    But that might not fit the narrative.

  • Trollificus||

    How about the narrative that Republicans are ignorant enemies of science who are too stupid to...I dunno, loosen their ties if they are too tight? That's a popular one.

    I mean, the Big Government asshole who is sending SWAT teams disguised as Code Compliance Teams out to Antelope Valley to drive off non-conformists, he also is a Republican. His ingestion of soy lattes and participation in yoga classes is irrelevant to how much he should be hated for this.

  • Eddy||

    Did he require criminals to wear ties during their crimes?

  • jdgalt1||

    I'll play devil's advocate: if the government forbids my company from requiring that its workers wear ties, what "burden" has the government imposed on the company? Does it matter if the law (or the company rule) applies to both sexes or just to men?

    And are they going to also forbid pricey restaurants from requiring that their customers dress up?

  • vivianne||

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online