Can My Employer Require Me to Pay for an Expensive Suit to Wear to Work?

The question is whether your employer can require you to pay for an expensive suit to wear to work.

The answer…

Most likely, no.

In California, employers cannot require employees to pay for the cost of uniforms. A uniform is distinct clothing that your employer requires you to wear for your job and that you can’t reuse for another job or incorporate into your everyday wardrobe.

In general, a black suit could be a basic item in your closet that you could wear for other purposes, such as to a wedding or other formal event.

Black suits are also commonly worn by wait staff in fancy restaurants, so you could probably wear the suit in a similar job.

In theory, you could wear a suit that you already owned, or you could pick up a suit on sale that you could wear to other events. But, the more restrictions your employer places on the suits, the more likely they will be considered uniforms.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting


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