A Federal court in Northern California has approved Rite Aid’s $12 million settlement of a class action case over its alleged failure to pay for uniforms it requires employees to wear. In the case, the plaintiffs alleged that Rite Aid (and Thrifty Payless, which it owns) required employees to “wear only ‘royal’ blue shirts and khaki pants while working.” Defendants, however, failed to reimburse their employees for purchasing this clothing, which violates California Labor Code §2802. That section provides that “an employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties.”

As a result of this alleged violation, the defendants failed to properly compensate minimum wage employees because—having to improperly foot the bill for their uniforms—their wages thus fell below minimum wage. This failure to properly pay employees in turn triggered a cascade of violations: The failure to provide accurate wage statements; to pay all due wages on paydays; and to pay all due wages upon termination.

As part of the settlement, the court approved the payment of $7,500 to each class representative, in recognition of the time and effort they expended to bring the case.