Various restaurants participate in the Shoes for Crews (“SFC”) Corporate Program. Sneakers for Crews manufactures and markets nonslip footwear that provides “unmatched slip- resistance outsole technology. inches Employers in the hospitality sector frequently inspire their employees to wear SFC boots and shoes for two central reasons. Initial, the wearing of SFC shoes by employees helps prevent slip and fall accidents that can be caused by wet or greasy flooring surfaces. Second, Shoes or boots intended for Crews provides employers using a “warranty” in the kind of a payment of up to $5, 1000 for medical costs arising from an employee slipping while putting on SFC shoes. In order to be qualified to receive receipt of this warranty, an employer must agree to participate in the Shoes and boots for Crews Business Program.
Although most restaurants require employees to wear some type of slip-resistant shoe, employees happen to be seldom reimbursed for the cost of purchasing the required footwear. Inspite of infrequently reimbursing workers to get the purchase price of non-slip sneakers, some restaurants own agreed to take part in the Shoes for Crews Corporate Plan, which allows an employee to pay for SFC shoes through regular payroll deductions. Because of this salaries deduction option, more workers are now choosing to purchase SFC shoes.
As the reputation of SFC shoes or boots has increased, recent court cases have challenged Sneakers for Deck hands Corporate System on primarily two fronts. First, in the event that an employer requires an employee to get slip-resistant shoes, the debate has been made that the workplace should be required to reimburse the employee for the price of the shoes and boots. Second, because a great employer may receive a warranty payment for a workers ‘ compensation claim resulting from an employee injury while wearing SFC shoes, the program offers been attacked since unfairly forcing a worker to bear some of the expense of the employer’s workers ‘ comp plan. Although neither argument provides previously received much traction force, the latest court decision provides raised questions about the viability of the SFC Plan.
It is important for employers whom make use of the Shoes or boots pertaining to Crews Program to be aware of these kinds of recent decisions because they may signal upcoming litigation above an employer’s legal rights and obligations, while also elevating potential worries about the acceptance of a Shoes or boots meant for Crews warranty.
Are Restaurants Required to Reimburse Employees for Non-Slip Shoes?
The first question that has been addressed by courts is definitely whether an employer has a requirement to reimburse its employees for the expense of purchasing non-slip shoes, particularly SFC shoes. In Roach v. Capital t. L. Cannon Corp., a New York court held that a restaurant’s failure to reimburse workers for the price of nonslip shoes did not constitute a violation on the state’s labor laws. Although New York regulation requires employers to pay employees for the cost of an uniform, the court found that non-slip footwear is not a “uniform” because black, nonslip shoes represent an “ordinary wardrobe item[ ] which can be worn as a part of nonwork apparel. ”
In Lemus v. Denny’s Inc., a California court arrived at a similar bottom line when it placed a restaurant’s decision to not reimburse its employees intended for the price of slip-resistant shoes didn’t constitute a violation of the Occupational Protection and Well being Work (OSHA). The courtroom reached this holding by relying on chinese of a specific OSHA legislation and by adhering to the following assertion provided in an OSHA directive: “The employer is not required to cover non-specialty shoes that offer several slip-resistant characteristics, but are normally common clothing in characteristics. “
In arriving at the conclusion that restaurants do not have to reimburse employees for the expense of non-slip footwear, both process of law made a point to note the fact that nonslip shoes were acquired from suppliers open to the general public, the employees could purchase the necessary footwear from the store of their choice, and the restaurants did not limit the choice of shoe to any particular brand, style, or design. These facts were cited as support to get finding that non-slip shoes can be worn outside the restaurant job context and thus do not require employer reimbursement under both OSHA or NY labor law.
One take away by these cases is that an employer should not mandate that workers purchase SFC shoes, but instead should advise employees that Shoes and boots pertaining to Crews is one of the brands an employee may choose to order. These cases also suggest that an employer can continue to offer the SFC Program and allow employees the benefit from purchasing SFC sneakers via payroll deductions, so long as the employer does not require employee participation in this program