Must we pay employees to change their clothes? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Must we pay employees to change their clothes?

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Q. Do we have to pay employees for the time they spend changing into their uniforms before work and out of their uniforms afterward? We’re a hospital and our operating-room personnel must change clothes.

A.
If putting on or taking off the uniform is an integral and indispensable part of the employees’ principal work activities, then you need to pay them for the time they spend engaging in that activity.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided this issue more than 50 years ago (Steiner v. Mitchell, 350 U.S. 247, 1956). If wearing uniforms is a job requirement for employees who work in the operating room, then you should pay those employees for the time they spend changing into and out of their uniforms.

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