It is not very often a U.S. Supreme Court Justice begins the Court’s opinion with “The question before us is the meaning of the phrase ‘changing clothes’…,” but that is exactly what happened last month when the United States Supreme Court ruled on an important donning and doffing case initiated by U.S. Steel workers. The whole case revolved around the definition of “changing clothes.”
On January 27, 2014, the United States Supreme Court clarified the meaning of “changing clothes” under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) donning and doffing protections.
Last week, the Supreme Court decided the case of Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp., Case No. 12-417 (Jan. 27, 2014), addressing donning and doffing claims in the context of a unionized steel mill.
The Supreme Court recently clarified the meaning of “changing clothes” under Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act in Sandifer v. United States Steel.
On January 27, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp., which clarified what it means for an employee to be “changing clothes” under Section 3(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The Court’s decision will affect unionized workplaces, where employees change in and out of (or “don and doff”) protective or sanitary clothing in connection with their jobs.
Under Section 203(o) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), an employee’s time spent “changing clothes” at the beginning or end of each workday is not compensable if such time is expressly excluded from compensable work time in a bona fide collective bargaining agreement or if there is a “custom or practice” of non-payment for such activities (or payment for a set amount of time).
Is Putting On and Taking Off Protective Gear Compensable? Supreme Court (Ad)dresses That Issue in Latest Ruling
This week the Supreme Court held that time unionized workers spend putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) personal protective gear is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In 2010, the Ninth Circuit held that the time police officers spend before and after their paid shifts donning and doffing is not compensable work time under the FLSA so long as the police officers have the option and ability to put on and take off their uniforms and gear away from the employer’s premises.
Supreme Court Rules That “Donning and Doffing” Protective Gear Subject to Collective Bargaining; Leaves Door Open for Future Claims
On Monday, January 27, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a group of unionized steel workers at U.S. Steel Corporation did not need to be compensated for the time they spent “donning and doffing” safety gear before and after work.
With a little help from Webster’s Dictionary, the Supreme Court expands the definition of clothing in favor of employers.