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Question about legality on uniforms

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What is the name of your state? IL

I work in a fine dining restaurant in Chicago. The problem is we have a patio and very restrictive uniforms. We are out in the heat with a long sleeve button up that we are only allowed to roll up 2 inches from our wrist. We wear a vest and tie on and the outside sections are in a long sleved heavy sports jacket on all inside sections. I am getting ao insanely dehydrated at this job because it's hot inside and out. It's not rare that I don't piss absolute orange after a 12 hour shift even though I drink a lot. Are there any laws on heat and uniforms because I'm absolutely DYING here!? I'm worried about my health but still have to pay my bills.

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
So far as I can tell, IL law does not have any labor laws that specifically address this specific situation, and neither does the federal government. However, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)) does identity heat as a significant health hazard and one that employers should seek to mitigate. OSHA has two web pages with a lot of information about heat in the workplace, and that may give you a good start on tackling this problem. Those are:

You may also contact OSHA to ask about this situation and what options you have. You may also file a complaint with OSHA about the working conditions. Information about that is found here:

The Illinois Department of Labor is less helpful, but does have some information about heat at work:

Note that it is illegal for an employer to retailate against you for filing a worker safety complaint with OSHA and I suspect the law is the same when making complaints to the IL Department of Labor.

Finally, you may want to consult an employment law attorney in your area to go over the specifics of what is happening and whether the employer is meeting its obligations under local, state, and federal laws. You may be able to find attorneys who give free or low cost initial consultations.


Active Member
There are companies that make cooling vests. Some are low-profile and wouldn't show under your uniform.

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