Workplace rules can make life difficult for employees. Sometimes, something as simple as being asked to wear a uniform can lead to health risks. That’s what Land’s End has been sued for after Delta Air Lines employees claimed that their uniforms were causing health problems.
So far, there have been two separate class-action lawsuits filed in Madison over the uniforms, which the employees claim caused them to suffer from migraines, breathing trouble and skin rashes. The finishes that were used to make the uniforms stain- and wrinkle-resistant, they claim, were created with chemicals that were leading to health problems.
Land’s End is being accused of being negligent because it issued the uniforms and did not recall them when it was discovered that they were causing injuries. Interestingly, though the workers may have filed for workers’ compensation as a result of their injuries, this lawsuit had to be made separately against Land’s End. Due to workers’ compensation laws, workers are unable to file lawsuits against their employers, in this case, Delta, when they are injured on the job (in most cases).
Interestingly, the employees may be right about the dangers of these uniforms. After researching them, formaldehyde, chromium, fluorine and mercury were all found to be above safe levels on the uniforms. There are over 500 people, both current and former employees, who are taking part in the lawsuit.
While Delta is not able to be sued, it has been argued that the employer did know about the injuries the uniforms were causing and failed to do anything about it. It’s not discussed if any of the employees chose to seek workers’ compensation instead of pursuing the lawsuit (or to do both).