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Question
I recently started a job at Vanity, a womens clothing store in a mall in Grandville, Mi. My manager told me that one week after my first paycheck I have to be "head-to-toe vanity". Meaning anything I wear into work, jeans, shirts, accessories, etc, has to be from their store and we are required to pay for it. Not only do we have to buy their clothes to wear we are required to wear the up and coming items which are the most expensive. Meaning we arent allowed to purchase the marked down/clearance items to wear into work. My problem is that their clothing is quite pricey and I started this job because I am a broke college student with many bills to pay for. I dont have the money to afford their clothing minus the fact I have only been working less then 20 hours a week, making $7.45 an hour. Are they allowed to do this? Im not trying to lose my job over not being able to purchase their clothes, it took me long enough just to find this job. Please help!

Answer
Kristen:

I'm sorry to report that yes, they can do this.  It does seem quite unfair in your case, or for any other part-time employee making minimum wage, but there is no law that prevents an employer from specifying how employees must dress.  All I can suggest is that you talk with your boss and try to get her to consider your situation and give you some extra time to comply with the rule.

I wish I could give you better news.  

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Frank C. Magill

Expertise

I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.

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30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

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Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

Education/Credentials
J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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