Site Alert

Claim & Account Center and Secure Message Center are currently experiencing intermittent slowdowns. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Uniforms

Common questions about uniforms

Expand/collapse all

  • Expand/collapse What kind of clothing is considered a "uniform" and must be paid for by the business?

    The business must pay the full cost of a "uniform." The business may not take money from wages or require a deposit from the worker for such a uniform. It is considered a uniform if the clothing the business requires workers to wear:

    • Clearly identifies the worker with that specific business.
    • Is specially marked with the business' logo.
    • Has an ethnic or historical theme. Examples:
      • A store requires Hawaiian shirts for a theme for a special sale.
      • A Mexican restaurant requires clothing that represents Mexico.
    • Is formal clothing such as a tuxedo, including the tuxedo-type shirt, tie, cummerbund, etc.
  • Expand/collapse What is NOT considered a uniform and must be paid for by the worker?

    Certain colors for tops and bottoms are considered common:

    • Tops: white, tan or blue, including lighter or darker colors of tan or blue.
    • Bottoms: tan, black, blue, or gray, including lighter or darker colors of tan, blue, or gray.

    Even if the business requires these colors, it does not have to pay for this wearing apparel. For example: The most common colors required are a white blouse or shirt and black pants or skirts. Workers must buy this wearing apparel even though it is required by the business.

  • Expand/collapse What if the clothing is a common color but also has a logo or other feature that identifies the worker with the business?

It is still considered a uniform and the business is responsible for the cost of the clothing. For example:

  • A white shirt with a logo. The logo makes the white shirt a uniform and the business must bear the cost.

For more detail, see L&I Administrative Policies:
Acrobat PDF file Uniforms (ES.C.8.1) (17 KB PDF)
Acrobat PDF file Q&A About Uniforms (ES.C.8.2) (48 KB PDF)

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

  © Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.

Help us improve