A key 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision made clear that manufacturers must pay workers for time spent changing in and out of safety gear, plus the time they spend walking between changing rooms and workstations.
Now, the Labor Department is moving to make sure employers are complying with such donning-and-doffing rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Most recently, a Missouri-based chicken processor, George’s Processing, Inc., agreed to pay $1.23 million to settle a Labor Department claim. Labor said the company failed to pay employees for time spent changing into protective gear and walking to and from their processing stations.
Advice: After last year’s big Supreme Court ruling, Labor is bound to become aggressive on the donning-and-doffing issue. If you’re unsure whether the ruling applies to your organization, run your practices by counsel.