A former employee at a Nike retail outlet is suing the company for a violation of wage and hour laws. The plaintiff alleges that Nike forced employees to buy new uniforms once per quarter so that the employees would show off the new clothing lines Nike had available. Nike paid minimum wage, but with their requirement to buy uniforms so frequently, the former employee is alleging that Nike effectively does not pay the required minimum wage.
It is an interesting case and one that will make its way through the courts in the coming weeks and months. The crux of the issue is that this mandatory practice forces employees to be walking advertisements for their company, and without reimbursement, an employees realistic wage drops below minimum standards. The lawsuit also alleges itemization issues with paychecks and problems with sick time or leave.
Sometimes an employer violates wage and hour laws by mistakes. Other times, they do so with intent. And other times still, like in this case, a more complicated issue arises. It will be interesting to see where this case goes, but for now, it is an example of how companies, whether they mean to or not, can run afoul of wage and hour law. That directly affects an employee's financial situation, and it violates their rights as an employee.
Any employee that believes their employer is violating their right to fair and equitable pay per state or federal requirements should consult with an attorney to address his or her case.
Source: California Labor Law News, "Nike Hit with California Wage and Hour Lawsuit," Gordon Gibb, April 8, 2017