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Mayo loosens dress code to allow for tattoos, fleeces and biz casual

That large hospital system where half the town works is loosening its traditionally tight belt when it comes to dress code.

Beginning Jan. 1, a revised dress and decorum policy will go into effect at Mayo Clinic. The new set of rules will for the first time permit visible tattoos — though the organization "reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of visible body art" — while eliminating other wardrobe restrictions, such as one that had prohibited employees from wearing fleece jackets. 

Mayo says the new standards will rely "more on general principles rather than specific details." The changes were approved by Mayo's Board of Governors and its People and Culture Committee.

The policy also includes the addition of a "modified business casual option" for employees in a limited number of units and positions with no patient interaction, such as some staff in research and in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.

But before going casual on Friday, employees should first check with their supervisors. While the new policy allows for flexibility, individual work units can still apply more stringent rules.

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