Dress Code Mandate

One listener wanted to know whether her employer has to reimburse her for its new dress code mandate.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Like many people, listener Valerie A. worked at a company with a corporate casual dress code and had, over the years, acquired a lovely wardrobe to fit the bill.  But recently, her company changed its dress code and now requires all employees to wear only black shirts with khaki pants, making her former work clothes basically fancy hanger decorations.  Valerie wanted to know if the law requires employers to reimburse employees for clothes they now have to wear.

Sad to say, Valerie, but employers who don’t force workers to wear a uniform but instead to wear a particular color or type of clothes—which could be worn when not at work—do not have to reimburse employees for those clothes.  So you won’t get any help from the law there, but hopefully you’ll at least get an extra ten minutes of sleep that you don’t have to spend deciding what to wear that day.

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