As reported by nj.com, last year, the State of New Jersey paid some state workers a clothing allowance who did not need to wear a uniform to work, a report by the state comptroller found. “The state spends millions of dollars every year to cover the cost of uniforms for state employees who don’t actually wear uniforms,” State Comptroller Matthew Boxer said in a news release. “It’s absurd.”
The report zeroed in on a payment that state workers receive as part of contracts negotiated with the unions that represent them. According to the report, the clothing stipends have been included in contracts for more than a decade. The report detailed the breakdown of the $22 million paid to 27,000 employees for clothing stipends in the previous fiscal year. Of that total, $8 million went to corrections officers, $6 million to employees in the health field, and $2.6 million to security, maintenance, and similar job holders.
The report found that the remaining $4.8 million went to employees with office or desk jobs. Of those employees, who each received $700 a year, a survey was conducted and determined 48 percent do not wear special clothes to work. The survey found that 82 percent were not required to wear special clothes to work.
The size of the stipend, larger than any other state, was also targeted in the report. Boxer is recommending reviewing the stipends and only providing them to those employees who need special uniforms for work. “Figuring out who exactly is entitled to these payments should not be so complicated,” Boxer said in a news release.