02/22/2013 09:19:44 AM EST
Supreme Court to Determine What "Clothes" Are under the FLSA
With a title like that, this post could only arouse the
interest of an employment lawyer.
But, all of y'all should pay attention.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the period of time during which a
covered employee must be paid begins when the worker engages in a
principal activity. Putting on and taking off (or, in legalese, "donning
and doffing") protective clothing is considered a principal activity.
However, the FLSA expressly
provides that employees don't get paid for time spent "changing
clothes" if a union contract says so.
The question that the Supreme Court must answer now, in this case, is what the heck are "clothes"
under the FLSA?
circuits hold that "clothes" includes anything that can be worn
on the person, even "accessories." Ah yes, clothes.
circuit has ruled that "special protective gear different in kind
from typical clothing" is not clothing. Clothes?
In any event, sometime later this year, maybe we'll get
an answer to this question.
This article was originally published on Eric B. Meyer's blog, The Employer
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