3rd Circuit: ‘Donning and doffing’ counts toward OT

Chemicals giant Dupont must pay overtime to workers whose workweek exceeds 40 hours because of time spent putting on and taking off protective gear. So ruled the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Oct. 7 in an opinion that reversed a lower court decision.

Dupont argued that since it voluntarily paid employees for their meal breaks—which isn’t required under the Fair Labor Standards Act—it didn’t have to pay for so-called donning and doffing time.

The 3rd Circuit disagreed, noting, “Nothing in the FLSA authorizes the type of offsetting Dupont advances.”

The case was remanded to the lower court, so it’s too soon to tell whether the U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to weigh in.