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Must we pay for our employees’ uniforms?

by on
in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. Our organization requires employees to wear uniforms on the job. Do we have an obligation to pay for the uniforms?

A. It depends on the nature of the uniform required. In general, if an employer requires its employees to wear uniforms, it may not require an employee to bear the cost of the uniform if doing so would bring the employee’s compensation below minimum wage or cut into overtime compensation.

In addition, in Minnesota, the total deduction for uniform costs may not exceed $50.

If your employees earn more than minimum wage, the amount of the difference between the employee’s hourly wage and the minimum hourly wage can be used to pay for the cost of the uniform. A deduction for uniform costs can also be made over time so that the employee pays for the uniform over the course of several months and the employee’s wages remain at or above the minimum wage.

If the cost of a uniform does cut into minimum wage or overtime compensation, the employee must be reimbursed on the next regular payday.

In Minnesota, at the end of an employee’s employment, he or she must be reimbursed for the full amount of the deduction from his or her pay for the uniform cost.

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