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High court to answer ‘donning’ and ‘doffing’ questions

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in Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last month to take up cases that could affect your payroll practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), particularly if you employ people who must don and doff protective clothing at the work site.

In both cases, lower courts agreed that employees must be paid for the minutes they spend actually changing in and out of their protective clothes. But the courts split on whether employees should be paid for the time spent walking from the locker room to the workstation and time spent waiting to put clothing and work gear away at the shift's end.

Look for the court to hear arguments next fall. The cases: IBP v. Alvarez, No. 03-1238, and Tum v. Barber Foods, No. 04-66.

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