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France Objects to Dress Code at Disney Park

From Associated Press

A government agency filed a complaint over Euro-Disneyland’s employee dress code, contending that bans on beards, mustaches and colored hosiery may violate France’s work code, newspapers reported Tuesday.

Police in Vincennes, in the Val de Marne district 20 miles east of Paris, where Euro-Disneyland is located, have opened a preliminary investigation based on the complaint, filed last week by the Work Inspection Agency.

The dress code has been a source of controversy since Euro-Disneyland, which will open in April, began hiring early this year.

The dress code, outlined in an internal document to be signed by all new employees, provides a list of dos and don’ts that critics say represents an attack on personal liberties.

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“One of the conditions of your employment consists of maintaining a weight in harmony with your height,” the code says.

It also outlaws beards and mustaches for men and eye liner, eye shadow, false eyelashes, colored stockings and certain heel heights for women. It specifies the type of jewelry permitted and says underclothing should be “appropriate.”

Euro-Disneyland officials argue that employees are all members of a theatrical production and must be able at any given moment to play traditional Disney roles. Officials compared the requirements to those of an airline, where dress regulations are standard.

The newspaper Le Monde cited the case of an employee whose letter of dismissal referred to “non-respect” of the dress code. The employee said she was fired for wearing a yarn bracelet.

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In its complaint, the Work Inspection Agency said distribution of such an internal document did not follow French procedure. It said such a document should first have been submitted to government labor experts for review.

Euro-Disneyland, a 4,900-acre complex, promises 30,000 new jobs for France by the year 2000. It projects up to 11 million visitors in its first year of operations.


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