The California employment lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP noted a current case regarding uniform maintenance. If your employer requires you to wear a uniform to work, the employer usually must provide the uniforms for you. However, are you responsible for the cleaning bills for your uniforms? This is a question that the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California considered in the 2008 case of O’Connor v. Starbucks Corp.
The Court determined in this case that if an employee does not need to have a uniform professionally laundered or otherwise specially cared for, the employer is not responsible for paying for the uniform’s upkeep.
The case involved a Starbuck’s employee who claimed that his aprons required professional laundering or dry cleaning and wanted the company to pay these bills. The employee claimed that he had spent his own money to properly clean the Starbuck’s aprons and wanted the employer to reimburse him for these costs. The case proceeded to the U. S. District Court where it was heard under the umbrella of wage and hour litigation.
The U. S. District Court justices decided in this case that there was insufficient evidence to show that professional cleaning was required for the employee aprons. Specifically, the Court determined that the aprons could in fact be machine-washed. Because of this finding, the Court ruled that Starbucks was not responsible for paying for the cleaning needed for the aprons, and noted that when “routine care” was all that was required to clean uniforms, the employer should not be held responsible for the cleaning bills.
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