A recent case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court evaluated when your employer
must compensate you for putting on/taking off different required types
of work gear.
The questions involves what is called “donning and doffing”
(taking on and off clothes and/or protective gear.) In many instances,
your employer may be required to pay you for time spent putting on gear
specifically required by your job.
Federal Law contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that
in certain circumstances you be paid for this time. The failure to adequately
compensate you may be considered a violation of the FLSA entitled you
to back pay and damages.
If you work in a job that requires you to spend time putting on and taking
off protective gear, it is important to know your rights concerning compensation
for this time. If you have questions, you should consult with an experienced
Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.
While the case before the Supreme Court focused on unionized employees,
non-unionized workers may be entitled to pay for time spent changing in
and out of protective gear. Further, whether unionized employees must
be paid for this time may be up to their collective bargaining agreement.
Additionally even for unionized employees, questions still exist concerning
different industries. Thus while the steel workers in this case were not
entitled to compensation based on language in their collective bargaining
agreement, unionized employees in similar cases such as meat processing-line
workers in Nebraska were entitled to $19 million from Tyson Food, which
allegedly failed to pay them for time spent donning and doffing protective
gear. As stated by one observer:
“The decision makes clear that employees in the meatpacking and food
processing industries who must don substantial required safety equipment
must be paid for this time.”
If you have questions about any part of your wages, or believe that you
have not received all the compensation you are entitled to, please contact
Georgia wage and hour lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.