The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to rule on a controversial issue: whether time that employees spend putting on (and taking off) safety-related gear should be considered “paid time.” The debate comes down to whether gear such as steel-toed boots, hard hats and safety glasses are considered “clothes” or protective safety gear.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is clear that employees don’t get paid for changing in and out of work clothes. But if those are safety gear, the employees may be paid for “donning and doffing” them. The case will likely be argued late this year. (Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp.)