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49.12.420  <<  49.12.450 >>   49.12.460

RCW 49.12.450

Compensation for required employee work apparel — Exceptions — Changes — Rules — Expiration of subsection.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 49.46 RCW or other provisions of this chapter, the obligation of an employer to furnish or compensate an employee for apparel required during work hours shall be determined only under this section.

     (2) Employers are not required to furnish or compensate employees for apparel that an employer requires an employee to wear during working hours unless the required apparel is a uniform.

     (3) As used in this section, "uniform" means:

     (a) Apparel of a distinctive style and quality that, when worn outside of the workplace, clearly identifies the person as an employee of a specific employer;

     (b) Apparel that is specially marked with an employer's logo;

     (c) Unique apparel representing an historical time period or an ethnic tradition; or

     (d) Formal apparel.

     (4) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, if an employer requires an employee to wear apparel of a common color that conforms to a general dress code or style, the employer is not required to furnish or compensate an employee for that apparel. For the purposes of this subsection, "common color" is limited to the following colors or light or dark variations of such colors: White, tan, or blue, for tops; and tan, black, blue, or gray, for bottoms. An employer is permitted to require an employee to obtain two sets of wearing apparel to accommodate for the seasonal changes in weather which necessitate a change in wearing apparel.

     (5) If an employer changes the color or colors of apparel required to be worn by any of his or her employees during a two-year period of time, the employer shall furnish or compensate the employees for the apparel. The employer shall be required to furnish or compensate only those employees who are affected by the change. The two-year time period begins on the date the change in wearing apparel goes into effect and ends two years from this date. The beginning and end of the two-year time period applies to all employees regardless of when the employee is hired.

     (6) The department shall utilize negotiated rule making as defined by RCW 34.05.310(2)(a) in the development and adoption of rules defining apparel that conforms to a general dress code or style. This subsection expires January 1, 2000.

     (7) For the purposes of this section, personal protective equipment required for employee protection under chapter 49.17 RCW is not deemed to be employee wearing apparel.

[1998 c 334 § 2.]

Notes:

     Construction -- 1998 c 334: "Nothing in this act shall be construed to alter the terms, conditions, or practices contained in any collective bargaining agreement in effect at the time of June 11, 1998, until the expiration date of such agreement." [1998 c 334 § 3.]