U.S. Supreme Court

SCOTUS to consider case of workers seeking compensation for time spent donning protective gear


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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case filed by about 800 workers for U.S. Steel who say they should be compensated for the time it takes to put on elaborate safety gear.

The justices will consider the case in November oral arguments, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

The court granted cert on just one issue, SCOTUSblog reported in February: What does the phrase “changing clothes” mean in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938? The law says companies don’t have to compensate union employees for time spent “changing clothes” if it’s not required under their labor contract.

The workers contend the law was written when workers who changed clothes put on baker’s aprons or waitress uniforms, rather than elaborate protective gear, the Wall Street Journal says. Suiting up and taking a bus to the work station can take up to an hour, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.

The case is Sandifer v. U.S. Steel. The plaintiffs’ brief is here.

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