Ann Kiernan replies:
It is perfectly legal to require you to wear a name badge at work. In fact, it is required in many states for health care workers, law enforcement personnel, security guards, utility workers, and others.
For businesses that serve customers face to face, name badges are an important part of good customer service. Some of the reasons why:
- Problem solving. It’s a lot easier to troubleshoot if you can say “I gave the package to Charlie at the front desk” instead of “I gave the package to the man at the front desk.”
- Symmetry. Employees often address even first-time customers by name by looking at their credit cards, boarding passes, etc. Why shouldn’t customers know employee names as well?
- Credit. It’s easier to praise good service if you can say “Isabel took the time to fit my son’s new shoes properly” than “The tall woman with the glasses took the time to fit my son’s new shoes properly.”
- Deterrence and Accountability. Name badges provide deterrence of bad behavior and instant accountability if it does occur.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.