By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What’s the difference between a uniform and a dress code? Money in your pocket.

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Those smiley face buttons Walmart employees wear may be the only happy face on a Walmart employee right now. The company just implemented what it calls a dress code, which requires employees to wear collared shirts and khaki bottoms.

If they don’t already own clothes like that, they have to buy them.

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Can your employer force you to buy the clothes it makes you wear? Most of the time.

The law says that if an employer has a dress code that just requires a general type of street clothing like a collared shirt but allows variation in the exact type, the employer can make a worker buy it if he doesn’t already have it in his wardrobe. If, however, the employer requires a specific, distinctive uniform, the employer can still make a worker pay for it out of his own pocket but only if that doesn’t cause his wage to drop below minimum wage.

Walmart’s dress code wouldn’t be considered a uniform so the employees do have to pay for it no matter their wage. But as Walmart reminded them, they can get an employee discount if they buy it there!

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Yeah, that’ll put a smile on their face.