For additional savings

Clever Walmart – it’s imposed a new “dress code” on its workers associates workers that the workers have to pay for themselves and guess where they can buy the clothes – why, right there at Walmart! How convenient, right?

They have until September 29 to purchase clothes that adhere to Walmart’s new dress code of white or blue collared shirts and khaki or black bottoms. Simone suggests employees shop for their new uniforms at, you guessed it, Walmart. She cheerfully reminds workers to apply their 10 percent associate discount “for additional savings.”

Such a brilliant scheme for moving product – force the employees to buy it!

Making Change at Walmart, a campaign anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers pushing to improve working conditions at the corporation, found that Walmart may make tens of millions in sales from the dress code change. Making Change at Walmart used a photo of the new uniforms’ prices that were on display in an Alabama Walmart store’s break room. They calculated that if one million of the 1.3 million American Walmart employees bought three uniform sets at the prices listed in the photo with their 10 percent employee discount, Walmart would gain $51-$78 million in sales, depending on if employees purchased the low-end or high-end uniforms.

And the best thing is, it’s totally legal.

Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project told the Huffington Post that “Walmart was very smart” in picking its dress code, because it is legal to make employees pay for work clothes—as long as they are not branded and can be worn outside of work. Walmart, for example, has to pay for the new Walmart-branded vests they will be requiring workers to wear.

Well if they don’t like working at Walmart they should just go out and get jobs as football stars instead.


  1. says

    You load sixteen tons, what do you get
    Another day older and deeper in debt
    Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
    I owe my soul to the company store

  2. Katydid says

    There’s also a classism issue going on here, one that I noticed in my own career. When I was still in college and working admin jobs to pay the rent, I was expected to look like a model, with expensive clothes, impeccable makeup, fancy jewelry, heels, and designer purses…on a minimum-wage salary. After all, I was “representing the company”. In the decade that I’ve been in IT, my work attire usually consists of jeans or khakis with some sort of random department store sweater/shirt. Sneakers are perfectly fine footwear, even if they’re not sportsthug-endorsed ones. I work with non-IT folks whose attire can most charitably be described as “business casual”, for a very loose definition of “business” (for example, many of them wear cheap flip-flops to work).

  3. smrnda says

    I have almost never been subjected to a dress code, and my attitude on retail is that if they want a uniform, they should give you a uniform, and dress codes are for people you pay better than what people in retail make. Another reason not to shop there. It wasn’t like the vests don’t clearly label who is a worker and who is not.

    I’ve known of people who actually lost money on clothes they had to wear for some job, it’s absurd.

  4. Indigo says

    I have, in the past, meditated on the fact that the more money I make, the less strictly my appearance is controlled. My first job ever was with a corporate coffee chain with a three-page dress code. When I worked for independent places that generally paid me more, the requirements were laxer but still present; when I broke above fifteen dollars an hour in a tutoring centre, all that was really required of me was to not wear anything revealing or obscene. The job I still get paid the most for is desperate university students who need someone to proof-read their theses OMGNOW, for which I charge a rush rate and can sit at home in my underwear with my laptop.

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