Is footwear considered part of a uniform that is subject to employer reimbursement?

Sometimes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers. PPE includes any gear that minimizes risk of injury to workers while performing their duties. Depending on the work being done, PPE can include: hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, respirators, and protective eye or foot gear. Examples […]

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2018 HSA contribution limit

Sometimes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers. PPE includes any gear that minimizes risk of injury to workers while performing their duties. Depending on the work being done, PPE can include: hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, respirators, and protective eye or foot gear.

Examples of Protective Footwear

  • Firefighters’ boots
  • Steel-toed boots
  • Metatarsal protectors
  • Slip-resistant treaded shoes

Payment exceptions

The most common exception to this rule is granted to jobs that require non-specialty protective footwear (including steel-toed or slip-resistant shoes) when the employer allows such gear to be worn off of the job site. For instance, a restaurant can require employees to wear slip-resistant treaded shoes without providing them, as long as employees are permitted to wear their shoes home. The idea behind this exception is that shoes are a very personal item that workers are likely to use out of the workplace.

Final Tip

If special shoes are required for work but may be worn outside of work, you may negotiate with employees for partial-reimbursement in order to lessen the burden of the purchase.

Helpful Links

Employers Must Provide and Pay for PPE – OSHA.gov (osha guide PPE)

Employers Pay PPE – Remodeling.com

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