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Uniform aggravation

When I began my new job, I was told that I needed to wear scrubs. I could wear any color except black, denim, camouflage, or pediatric prints. So I got blue and dark red. Five sets, at $50 each set.

Two months later, and the announcement was made that they are changing the color schemes. We are going to be color coded by our job. All clinical workers who are not nurses must wear teal. The change goes into effect October 1.

So now I have $250 in scrubs that will not be wearable, another set of unreimbursed scrubs to buy, and employee expenses are no longer tax deductible.

6 replies on “Uniform aggravation”

When my scrubs became OBE, I donated them and took a charitable deduction. Up to $499 is deductible (but ask your CPA.)

Not sure if this is feral law or just California, but in California, if you need something special to perform the functions of your job, your employer must furnish it for you. At least that’s what I remember reading on the HR posted giant laminated signs that were everywhere where I used to work

Nope. Not Florida. Here, even mechanics and construction workers buy their own tools.

Here in Texas (not sure if it’s the law or just common practice), my company buys my nomex PPE and reimburses me for prescription safety glasses and steel toed boots. The only problem is that the nomex coveralls are from the lowest bidder and are highly uncomfortable. Which is why I went ahead and bought my own anyway.

However company policy is that you must wear company supplied nomex, so at some point I face the prospect that someone in management will tell me not to wear the personal nomex I bought. Then I’ll have roughly $400 worth of PPE that suddenly becomes worthless for work.

Since I took the gamble, I’ll just eat the losses. But in your case they truly screwed you.

When I worked in the chemical manufacturing and mining industries, the companies purchased Nomex(TM) clothing, steel toe boots, chemical goggles, gloves, hearing protection, and prescription lens safety glasses (including for Scott air-packs). Even minor tools, like flashlights that mounted on hardhats.

If your company has a reimbursement system, you can purchase, get reimbursed, and the company can take the deduction.

The suspension on taking a personal itemized deduction for employee expenses ends in 2026.

This sort of thing tends to trend by type of industry. Carpenters and auto mechanics tend to have their own tools.

We asked if the hospital would be paying for the new uniforms. They said no.

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