The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Uniform and Professional Wear Policy

Unit:  Shared Administrative Services
Contact: Christina Mullis
Title:  Executive Director of Process Review and Financial Compliance
Effective Date: 05/12/2020
Revision Date: 05/12/2020


 
 

Purpose

The University provides work uniforms and professional wear to all eligible employees in order to maximize safe working conditions, promote a sense of team spirit, reflect professional appearance, and to provide ease of recognition and/or identification. The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the issuance, maintenance, return and disposal of University provided work uniforms and professional wear.

Policy

Uniforms make it possible for students, faculty, staff, visitors, and law enforcement personnel to easily recognize University employees who have authorized access to University property. The University requires eligible employees and some student workers to wear uniforms unique to their department while working in their assigned areas. The University uniform program is managed through the Office of Uniform Management Services (UMS) in Finance and Operations Shared Administrative Services, who works with Procurement Services to order the uniforms from the approved contract vendor. Employees within Finance and Operations departments should not contact the contract vendor directly, but rather work with UMS to make specific requests. All shirts, t-shirts, aprons, vests, overalls, coveralls, sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets, rain gear, reflective gear, caps and hats, and other apparel must be embroidered with a University logo approved by Trademark Licensing and the applicable department name unique to each area. 

Pre-Order Fittings

The work uniform and professional wear fittings are scheduled by UMS. All employees must receive proper approval by their direct supervisor prior to attending one of the designated fitting and/or distribution sessions. Employees attending such sessions are not required to take personal leave. The allotment of items to be received by each employee is pre-determined by the respective department manager or designee and, except for extraordinary circumstances that are approved by UMS, cannot be changed during the fitting sessions.

Employees are required to be either fitted for garments prior to placing orders or sign a statement indicating that they have foregone the fitting process and will accept the distributed item as is, provided it is the same size, color, and likeness of the garment ordered.

Uniform Distribution

Once the order is received, employees are required to test the fit of the distributed item(s) by physically trying on the item(s). Employees who choose to forego this process will be required to sign a statement indicating such. After the employee signs for the distributed items, any items that are later determined to be too large or too small, but are the same size, color, and likeness of the item(s) ordered should be discussed with the department’s leadership prior to requesting an exchange by UMS. In some cases, the department may seek reimbursement for these items from the employee. 

Payment for properly approved uniforms and professional wear will be facilitated by UMS and should not be made by the department directly to the vendor. 

Uniform Ownership and Care

Work uniforms are to be worn on official University duty. Work uniforms and/or professional wear provided by UMS and paid for by the University are considered University property; however, once distributed, the item(s) become the responsibility of the employee for maintenance and care. Individual department directors/managers will stipulate when uniforms or professional wear must be worn to work. Employees are required to sign for work uniforms and professional wear when received. The University may issue new uniforms periodically or require uniforms to be returned for specific purposes (e.g., logo change, color change, termination, transfer, etc.) to be redistributed or disposed of according to University policy. 

In the event of termination of employment, employees are required to return all University issued work uniforms and professional wear in their possession by the last day of employment as part of the exit process. If transferring internally to another University department, the employee may keep uniform-related accessories such as shoes, pants, or shirts that are acceptable attire in the new department, but all items with an embroidered University department logo and those items that will not be useable must be returned within 30 days of the transfer. Work uniforms and professional wear must never be given to friends, family members or others; donated to charity; sold; or disposed of by any other personal means.

Work uniforms and professional wear must also be returned to The University as they become torn, frayed, faded, or otherwise not suitable for wearing. Department directors/managers and other designated leaders are responsible for ensuring that returned work uniforms or professional wear that can no longer be used are transferred to Property and Inventory Management for proper handling of university-owned items. Work uniforms and professional wear that remain in good condition should be returned to UMS and distributed among individual department units on a first come first served basis.

Work uniforms and professional wear are to be well-maintained by the employee and may only be used while performing University-related job duties. They must not be worn in places that would not represent the positive image of The University of Alabama. It is expected that University employees will conduct themselves in a dignified, professional, and respectful manner whenever wearing University uniforms or professional wear.

The University reserves the right to enforce these guidelines by all necessary means to ensure compliance with the stated policy. 

Personal Orders for Professional Wear or Work Uniforms

Eligible University employees will be given an opportunity to place personal orders for professional wear. Employees eligible for professional wear may also place personal orders for work uniform items to supplement their professional attire. All personal orders are taxable to the employee. Personal orders requiring a logo must be embroidered with the UMS-designated University logo, approved by Trademark Licensing, not including their department name. There is an additional fee for the embroidered logo. Personal orders remain the property of the University employee and are billed directly to the University employee by the contract vendor. Employees who are required to wear work uniforms may not place personal orders for additional work uniform items. Specific uniform needs that deviate from the employee’s predetermined allotment should be discussed with their supervisors prior to any UA paid purchase.

Definitions

Eligible employees: Employees occupying employment positions within a University department that have requested UMS services and that are identified on a list designated by their supervisor or authorized representative which is submitted to UMS prior to a uniform fitting. 

Professional wear: Any shirt, polo, vest, lightweight jacket, sweater, or other apparel that appears in the professional wear catalog as determined by the Office of Uniform Management Services.

Work uniforms: Apparel selected for the specific use of University employees including, but not limited to, shirts, polos, vests, pants, winter jackets, rain coats, shoes or boots, or other apparel designated as the department’s official attire and required to be worn while working on official University duty.

Scope

This policy applies to any University employee that receives work uniforms or professional wear through the Office of Uniform Management Services.

 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 05/12/2020