Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris wants to forbid city employers from requiring workers to don the enemy of the casual wardrobe: neckties.
At a council meeting this week, Parris asked the city attorney to look into whether such a policy is feasible, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The proposal is a matter of public health, according to Parris, who cited a new study published in the journal Neuroradiology that suggests wearing neckties may lower blood flow to the brain, potentially curbing creativity and analytical thinking.
The study also contends that restricting circulation by such an amount—7.5 percent on average, according to the research — could have fatal implications for someone with high blood pressure.
“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,’’ he said.
Parris said he wants Lancaster employers to make wearing ties to work optional, at the very least. And he likened the tie requirement to demanding women wear heels to work, characterizing it as an issue of compelled gender presentation.
Parris, a well-known litigator, said he hasn’t stopped wearing ties just yet, however. That’s because most courts require attorneys to wear “business attire’’ in the courtroom — and for most judges that means wearing a tie.
Because the proposed policy would involve issuing infractions to offending employers, Parris has asked the city’s Criminal Justice Commission to look into whether such a rule is practical.
This isn’t the first time neckties have gotten a bad rap. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Opthalmology showed that wearing ties too tightly may increase risk for blindness and glaucoma.