Ask HR: Can I charge for extra uniforms?


Dear HR,

May I deduct the cost of the additional uniforms from my employee’s paycheck? I provide two uniforms to each new employee upon hire. A few of my employees have requested to purchase additional shirts for their own convenience so they do not have to do laundry as often. I am willing to offer a 50% discount for additional shirts. My employees are hoping to have the balance deducted from their pay check.

 

HR Answer:

Payroll deductions are not permitted for uniform purchases in many states including Oregon and California. Best practice is to have a clearly written policy in place, stating that the company will provide the initial two uniforms and allow employees a 50% discount for purchasing each additional item. However, payment arrangements will need to be made outside of the paycheck. You may require a cash payment at the time of ordering or at the time of delivery. Some employers will allow a card/debit/cash payment through their point-of-sale system. Also have a clearly written policy outlining your uniform expectations and enforce it consistently (e.g. Is there a specific type of shoe required? Shirts out or tucked in? What pants are acceptable?). These policies should be outlined in your employee handbook. Do you have one? Has it been updated to reflect new labor laws and changes to existing laws? The beginning of the year is a great time for Cardinal to review your handbook!

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