In the ongoing discussion of when employers must pay you for time spent putting on and off protective work clothing, the U.S. Supreme Court recently evaluated under what circumstances employers are required to treat as compensable the time employees spend putting on and taking off protective clothing. The focus of the case is what constitutes “clothing.”
The Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) requires that employees be paid for all time spent working. As a result, courts around the country have been weighing in on whether employees must be compensated for the time dedicated to putting on protective gear and taking it off.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act generally the time changing into and out of clothing is not compensable, while time putting on and taking off “protective gear” is. If you have any wage and hour questions, or wonder if you have been paid all the compensation you deserve, it’s a good idea to consult with a top Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.
While the parties in this case differed about the definition of “clothing” several courts around the country, as well as the AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union have asserted that safety equipment such as work gloves, steel-toed work boots and head and neck protection were meant to be excluded from the definition of clothes and workers should be paid for this time. Failing to pay the workers what they are due may be a violation of federal wage and hour laws.
The Supreme Court has not yet issued its decision. The outcome has the potential to affect a significant number of workers. As a result, the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour attorneys Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP will be following this case closely and reporting on its outcome.
If you have any wage and hour questions, please contact our knowledgeable Atlanta FLSA lawyers for an immediate case evaluation.