Employee Relations update 1/31/2014
Supreme Court Decides Time Spent Donning and Doffing Gear NOT Compensable Under FSLA
The Supreme Court opinion delivered by Justice Scalia on Monday was unanimous and determined that employers and employee representatives can come to agreement through collective bargaining that the time employees spend donning and doffing protective clothing and gear CAN be excluded from the minimum wage and overtime protections included in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
When employers require workers to put on and remove protective clothing at their place of employment, FLSA allows employers to collectively bargain to exclude compsnesation for the time spent changing at the beginning or end of the work day. However, FLSA currently contains no definition for “clothing”. The United States Supreme Court took up the case last year inSandifer v. US Steel Corporation and determined that “clothes” are items designed and used to cover the body and commonly regarded as articles of dress (including protective clothing and gear. The Court also determined that “changing clothes” includes both switching clothes and alternating dress, regardless whether the employee changes out of street clothes or layers work clothes on top. Therefore, any unique protective clothing or gear that meet the broader definitions provided by the Supreme Court can be excluded from the wage and overtime protections in FLSA.
Read more about the case here.