Deductions for Uniforms Cannot Reduce Your Overtime

Do you have to wear a uniform as a part of your job, and is the cost for the uniform deducted from your paycheck? Your company has to follow a number of guidelines to do this correctly– and, if they don’t follow the guidelines, you may need to contact a Georgia employment attorney.

The FLSA does not specifically limit the ability of an employer to deduct the cost of a uniform from an employee, nor does it require the wearing of a uniform.

If the wearing of a uniform is required by some other law, the nature of a business, or by an employer, the cost and maintenance of the uniform is considered to be a business expense of the employer. If the employer requires the employee to bear the cost, it may not cut into the overtime compensation required by the Act, or affect your minimum wage.

For example, if an employee who is subject to the statutory minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (effective July 24, 2009) is paid an hourly wage of $7.25, the employer may not make any deduction from the employee’s wages for the cost of the uniform nor may the employer require the employee to purchase the uniform on his/her own.

However, if the employee were paid $7.75 per hour and worked 30 hours in the workweek, the maximum amount the employer could legally deduct from the employee’s wages would be $15.00 ($.50 X 30 hours).

The employer may prorate deductions for the cost of the uniform over a period of paydays provided the prorated deductions do not reduce the employee’s wages below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation in any workweek.

If you are having a uniform cost deducted from your wages incorrectly, or if you have any other questions about Georgia employment law, please contact us.