Does your company require uniforms?  You may have to pay employees a uniform maintenance fee.

If an employer requires uniforms for an employee, they must either maintain the uniforms or pay the employee  uniform maintenance pay. (Maintaining required uniforms includes washing, ironing, dry cleaning, alterations, repair or any other maintenance necessary.)  This pay is in addition to the employee’s agreed rate of pay.  Uniform maintenance pay is at the weekly rate set forth below, based on the number of hours worked:

30+ hours worked per week = $12.95/week
20-30 hours worked per week = $10.25/week
Less than 20 hours worked per week = $6.20/week

What is a uniform?

A uniform is considered specific clothing which an employer requires employees to wear while at work. This includes clothing that must be worn to comply with any federal, state, city or local law, rule, or regulation. This also includes clothing with an employer’s business logo or other business advertising on it. An employer must purchase this clothing in addition to maintaining it or paying the employee uniform maintenance pay.

What is not a uniform?

Regular, basic, street clothing, which an employee can wear while not at work is not a required uniform. For example, black pants, white dress shirt, black polo shirt, etc.

Alternatives to required uniforms.

Uniform purchase and maintenance costs can add up. An employer can avoid these expenses by doing any one of the following:

  • Provide a nametag or apron that an employee wears with “regular” clothing or with a dress code.
  • Purchase and provide a required uniform that is “wash and wear”. This is a uniform that an employee can easily wash with regular clothes, and can wear to work without dry cleaning or ironing. For example, a t-shirt with a logo can be “wash and wear”. Give each employee enough of these uniforms to wear, consistent with the average number of days per week worked by the employee.
  • Launder the employee’s uniforms yourself. Laundry duty can be assigned to an employee or laundered by a service. Have the employees dress while at work and turn in their worn uniforms before leaving. Make sure you notify the employees of the laundering service you are providing in writing, such as on a poster or in your employee handbook.