I work as a fashion retail employee at a fashion company. My employer does not provide his retail employees (over 50 of us, all females) with a set uniform that we can buy and wear during our shift. They make us wear the clothes that we have for sale on the store, that thousands of customers and visitors try on and wear. We are expected to also choose different outfits almost every single day of the week. After each shift we put the clothes back on the shelf for sale. We are also not able to complain because they have provided us with a 50% discount for the clothes, so we can buy multiple outfits for "cheap", and according to them that is fair. We get paid minimum wage, so that is not an option for most of us. This situation is outraging and humiliating to say the least, and most of us are really concerned for our health.
Is this legal? Isn't this dangerous for our health? Wearing used and tried on clothes for 8+ hours? Is there any law that forbids this? Can I take any legal action?
They can make you wear the clothes if their are no provable health concerns. What is a big question is: Are you paid from the time you arrive at the store and the time required to change clothes at the start of the day, and the time it takes to change back into your street clothes. That is, do you clock in when you first enter the store and clock out as you leave the store.
If you are not paid for all that time, you most likely have an unpaid wages claim under several laws.
There are severe laws against this underpayment. Contact one of us here at avvo.com who does wage and hour law under employment law. Most of us offer a free consultation and welcome the ability to talk to clients off hours for their convenience. (Never call during a workday from work, even lunch break.) So send us an avvo.com Message and give us you phone number and a time to call. Let us know if it is a cell that accepts text. You have rights, use them.
I am licensed to practice law only in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. My phone number is 215.439.7781. Therefore, my knowledge is based primarily on law in those two states and Federal legal concepts. My answering your question is offered only as a free courtesy to provide you with general non-specific information. It is intended to help you when you seek and find a local attorney licensed in your state. This answer does NOT create a client-attorney relationship nor create any expectation of confidentiality or privacy concerning your public post. My answer is based only on the limited facts/information that you have presented in your post. For any lawyer to give you full and reliable advice, would require at the least, full one-on-one dialogue(s) with questions and answers being exchanged and any evidence being presented. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional advice from an attorney licensed in your state regarding the particular facts and circumstances of each matter. Before taking any action or deciding to take no action, I recommend that you consult with a local attorney(s) of your choosing; either private or with a non-profit organization that helps individuals without the means for hiring a private attorney. Good luck in your search to find a legal solution to your situation.
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