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SCOTUS held donning and doffing is not compensable

SCOTUS ruled that donning and doffing of protective clothes is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standard act on Tuesday, January 28th 2014.


A group of Steelworkers filed of suit for backpay time spent donning and doffing of protective gear they felt they should have been paid for. The district court held donning and doffing is not compensable. The plaintiffs appealed.

Background information:

Depending on the job, protective gear my very. Employers usually have a dress code or uniform requirement. Among what's Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) are wages, brake time, overtime and define changing clothes. The plaintiffs in this case were required to wear the following: a flame-retardant jacket, a pair pants, a hood, a hardhat, a snoods, a wristlets, work gloves, leggings, metatarsal boots, safety glasses, earplugs, and a respirator. Changing clothing are normally excluded form pay; however, a 2002 United States Labor Department opinion letter have recognized that the exclusion doesn't extend to Donning and Doffing of protective gear. Donning is putting clothing on and Doffing is tacking protective clothing off. In the video, an expert fire fighter demonstrate the proper way to don and doff protective gear.


The Court held that putting on normal clothing such as a pair of pants and a hood is not compensable and protective gear such as a respirator requires does not require enough time to be compensable.

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