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Logos are go: 2017 employment reform rules on dress code prevail in ruling from Brazil

Written by
Veirano Advogados, one of the leading and most renowned Brazilian business and employment law firms.
A new ruling has confirmed that the 2017 Labour Reforms in Brazil take precedence over previous jurisprudence, meaning an employer can require employees to wear their, or a supplier’s, logo.

On 9 June 2020, the Fourth Chamber of the Superior Labour Court confirmed that the rules in the 2017 Labour Reform shall prevail over pre-existing jurisprudence if this jurisprudence was based on principles of law rather than on a specific legal text.

The case concerned an employee seeking compensation for having to wear his employer’s suppliers’ logos on his work uniform. Although there is no specific legal provision covering this, jurisprudence had long established workers’ right to choose not to wear client’s logos if advertising the suppliers’ brands is not an inherent part of their work. However, the 2017 Reform stipulates that companies have the authority to decide on employee dress standards, which includes the use of its own or partners’ logos.

This case brings an interesting important precedent that will apply to many other situations. For example, the rules in the Labour Reform relating to the precedence of contractual provisions over legal provisions in matters such as premiums. Courts have been refusing to apply contractual forfeiture of premiums in the event of voluntary termination of employment before the accrual term expires based on unwritten rules of equity. To date, jurisprudence says that the company has to make proportional payment in these cases.

Appeal Nr. RR305-75.2015.5.05.0492

José Carlos Wahle
Partner - Brazil
Veirano Advogados