Before I left my city government job, I was told that all of the employees needed to return their used staff shirts.
If someone were to ever commit a crime while wearing a staff shirt, the city could be held liable.
Is Fruit of the Loom sued every time someone gets pulled over for a DUI?
Of course not.
Never underestimate the lengths managers will go to appear correct.
Hence the difference between managers and leaders:
Managers pretend to know all of the answers. Leaders, on the other hand, operate under ambiguity.
It’s a tactic, a poor one at that, to sell the people who work under you a story of irrational fear. By doing so, you never have to explain yourself or your actions.
My guess is that no one actually knows why we collect staff shirts after someone leaves (I hope it isn’t to reuse them) but it’s something that has been done for the last 30 years so we keep doing it.
Far easier to treat people like future “bank robbers” than it is to change.