Should employees have to pay for embroidery of company logo on thier shirt?

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Should employees have to pay for embroidery of company logo on thier shirt?

My employer requires us to purchase our shirts. We can buy our shirts from any retailer but we also have to pay for the application of the logo to the shirt. Is that legal? The shirt cannot be worn anywheres else. Once we are no longer employed by the company we cannot even sell the shirts back, we are stuck with them.

Asked on September 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It's annoying and it's unfair, but, unfortunately, it *is* legal. Employers can make the purchase or modification of uniforms or work clothes a condition of employment. For example, if you were a machinest, you could be made to get safety goggles, and gloves; doctors and nurses have to buy scrubs; even suits are in often a special work purchase, since nowadays, most men, for example, very rarely wear suits anywhere but at their office. While the logo makes the shirts in your question particularlly ill-suited for any other use, again, employers can require their employees to buy (or pay to modify) work clothing or uniforms--even clothing that has no use other than with/for the employer. Talk to your tax preparer; there's a chance you can at least deduct the expense.


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