In many service industry jobs, a specific dress code is a standard requirement for employees. You can require a specific code of dress, such as a white shirt and black slacks. As long as the garments you require could still be worn as street clothes, employees can be required to provide these items on their own dime.

What about actual uniforms with your organization’s branding on them? Under federal law (FLSA), employers usually have the option of deducting the cost of a uniform from an employee’s paycheck. There are a couple of stipulations: the deduction can’t bring the worker’s income for that week below the minimum wage or cut into overtime pay.

Wait – That’s Just at the Federal Level

Quite a few states have additional regulations. For example, Alaska and Iowa employees can’t be forced to pay for uniform components that are worn for safety reasons. In Minnesota, employers can make a one-time $50 wage deduction to pay for uniforms but must reimburse this money if the worker turns in the uniform upon termination. In New York, employers must not only pay for uniforms but may be required to give workers an allowance for having them laundered.

States that do permit a payroll deduction for uniforms have one thing in common. Signed consent must be obtained from the employee prior to making the deduction. This notification can technically happen at any time during the worker’s tenure. However, it makes most sense to take care of this step during new hire onboarding when provisioning is taking place. That way the sudden chunk of change missing from their paycheck doesn’t take employees by surprise later on.

How Onboarding Software Can Help

With our Universal Onboarding, you can upload unlimited policy forms and acknowledgements. Adding a payroll deduction consent form that can be electronically signed in accordance with state law isn’t a problem. With back-end integration, this form can be automatically routed to payroll when the transactional onboarding process is complete.