According To Supreme Court, Employees Are Not Entitled To Compensation For Time Spent “Donning And Doffing” Safety Gear Under The FLSA

The L•E•Jer

By: Seth Nadel

In its first employment-related decision of 2014,[1] the Supreme Court ruled in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp. that unionized steel workers were not entitled to have the time spent putting on and taking off protective gear factored into their compensated work hours.[2]  In doing so, the Court unanimously affirmed the result reached in the 7th Circuit precursor Sandifer, in which Judge Posner wrote for the majority in stating that workers were not entitled to be paid for the time they spent changing clothes and walking to and from the locker room in the plant in which they worked.[3]

While the subject matter of the case seems superficially trivial, it carried important implications to industries that employ workers who are required to wear safety gear.[4]  As the Supreme Court remarked, the aggregate of the time and money owed to all employees should…

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