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Withholding for shirts

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  • Withholding for shirts

    We have been providing polo shirts or t-shirts to our employees to wear while at work. I understand that I cannot make them pay for them if we require them to be worn. What are my options? Can I give them one and make them purchase any additonal ones? There has been a problem with people quitting or being terminated not returning their shirts. Can we have the employees sign and agreement to return the shirts upon termination or voluntarily quitting? Can we then legally withhold payment for shirts if not returned from their final paycheck if we have this agreement in their file?

    Can we ask all current employee's to sign one to be effective from today forward?


  • #2
    That's not quite accurate. If you want your employees to wear, say, khaki pants and a black polo shirt, you don't HAVE to pay for them because they can wear khaki pants and a black polo shirt elsewhere. But if you want them to wear, say, a black polo shirt with your company name on it, you have to pay for it because they can't wear that anywhere but to work.

    I'll have to double check on deducting pay for their shirts if they are not returned; in most states you could not do that but I'm not where I can look up your state's law today.

    You can certainly make both current and future employees sign an agreement to return the shirts IF you pay for them; the only question is whether, if they don't, what options you have.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      There has been a problem with people quitting or being terminated not returning their shirts. Do you really want used shirts back??? Surely you're not going to recycle them to new employees. I sure wouldn't want to be presented with "previously worn" clothing on my first day at a new job. Yuck.

      It's not a terrible thing for ex-employees to be wearing shirts with your company's name on them around town. Think of it as free publicity. I think you should also consider the shirts you give to employees as a "gift" - and nobody expects a gift to be returned to the giver, even after the giver and the givee break up.


      • #4
        Beth, I think you'd be shocked at how many places do that. Let me know if you want names and addresses, 'cause I've got them!

        BTDT, but they wanted the t-shirt back.....
        I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
        Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
        I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
        Don't worry, be happy. is a good resource!


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