Monday, October 11, 2010

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Donning and Doffing Case

The Supreme Court of the United States denied cert in a case out of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit involving time spent donning and doffing protective gear at a unionized poultry processing plant. The Fourth Circuit, in Sepulveda v. Allen Family Foods, Inc., held that the protective gear constituted “changing clothes” within the meaning of Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (“FLSA”) and, thus, was not compensable time for which the employees must be paid.

Donning and doffing is increasingly becoming a split issue among the circuit with the Sixth Circuit recently ruling that it was going to disregard the DOL's opinion letters on the topic, that ear plugs could be considered "clothes" and that the burden is on the plaintiff to establish entitlement to wages under the FLSA.

Stay tuned!

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