The Supreme Court of the United States SCOTUS will be deciding on the definition of changing clothes. This might seem trivial to some but in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp, the case the issue evolved form, the issues is protective gear. 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. 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.
In the case before the SCOTUS, former and current employees U.S Steel claimed that they were not properly compensated for donning and doffing their protective gear. In past cases, employers demonstrated their unwillingness to compensate changing clothing because an activity of the work. Legal Editor Susan Prince explains in her article to the Human Resource management website that the Court has ruled that employers must compensate for principal activity. Sometimes the protective gear, such as police uniform, can be placed on at home and the officer wears the uniform to work. Such is not the case for a the expert fire fighter in the video, but usually it's a winning point for employers in court. The questions the Court will answer are:
- What's the definition of changing clothes under section 203?
- If actions are principal activity but exempt form compensation under the section must the worker be compensated?
- If workers engaged in principal activity and the activity is no exempt under the section but involves the de minimis amount of time, a small amount of time lacking in importance, must the employer compensate the worker?