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Workplace Halloween Costume Do™s and Don™ts

Halloween is upon us. For employers, choosing a costumes policy can be scary. Will you allow costumes? If yes, what costumes are allowed? Are there employees who may be offended by Halloween costumes?

For employees, choosing a costume that aligns with the employer™s policy can be just as scary. Does your organization allow costumes? If yes, will your costume be acceptable under your employer™s policy?

If costumes are acceptable in your organization, the following is a list of Do™s and Don™ts we suggest when choosing Halloween Costumes:

Do™s

Do use good judgment when determining what costume to wear. Ask yourself, would a patient or co-worker be offended by this costume? If yes, consider wearing a different costume.

Do follow your organization™s policy when dressing up for Halloween.

Do consider having an organization-wide celebration to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in the Halloween festivities " if they choose to participate.

Don™ts

Don™t force those who choose not to participate in dressing up for Halloween, to wear a costume.

Don™t wear anything that easily offends others. For example, costumes that violate dress codes or may be perceived as offensive, such as costumes of religious leaders, should be avoided.

Don™t wear costumes of devils, ghosts, skeletons, etc. in a health care setting. These costumes may cause patients to feel uneasy or may be offensive to others.

Halloween may be defined as:

The evening of October 31; the eve of All Saints™ Day; Allhallows Eve: observed especially by children in costumes who solicit treats, often by threatening minor pranks.

However, in the health care setting, we recommend avoiding minor pranks. Instead, Halloween provides us with an opportunity to celebrate, have fun, eat candy (in moderation), and kick off the holiday season! There are just over 4 weeks until Thanksgiving and just over 8 weeks until Christmas. Let the countdown begin…

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