Dressing down: N.J. official finds workers get needless $700 uniform allowance

    A tip from a state worker prompted an audit that shows millions of dollars have been wasted on clothing allowances for New Jersey employees who don’t need to wear a uniform.

    Comptroller Matt Boxer looked into the payments employees receive as part of contract benefits negotiated by their unions.

    He said the audit found 48 percent of the white collar workers getting the $700 clothing allowance really don’t need it.

    “More than $3 million a year is being spent by the state to pay the cost of uniforms for employees who actually aren’t required to wear or are wearing any type of uniform at work,” Boxer said.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    He said even for workers who do wear uniforms, the $700 per employee for a clothing maintenance allowance is greater than other neighboring states pay.

    “And New Jersey makes the payments without requiring any kind of receipt or other proof of purchase indicating that there have been actual clothing related costs incurred,” Boxer said.

    Comptroller Matt Boxer recommends the state end the benefit for employees who don’t need it.

    Gov. Chris Christie said having that kind of payment required by workers contracts hamstrings his efforts to change the system.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal