Delta first rolled out the purple uniforms for flight attendants and airport customer service workers as part of a Zac Posen uniform collection unveiled in 2018. By May 2019, some flight attendants had filed suit alleging that wearing their uniforms caused skin rashes, headaches, fatigue and other issues.
In January 2020, Delta said it would redesign its uniforms after the complaints and lawsuits. By that time, thousands of employees were wearing their own black and white clothing instead of the uniforms.
“It’s just too many. We’ve got to be a unified force,” said Delta’s director of uniforms Ekrem Dimbiloglu at the time.
Not everyone is happy about the new strict enforcement of the uniform requirement.
The Association of Flight Attendants union, which has sought to organize Delta flight attendants for years, has been testing Delta uniforms for chemicals. The union said a small number of flight attendants have adverse reactions to the new gray uniforms as well, and raised concerns that some crew members could be grounded and not fly during the busy summer season.
The union has started a petition to tell Delta to continue allowing workers to wear alternative uniforms without penalty.