Plaintiffs filed a class action alleging that their employer failed to pay them wages for putting on and taking off clean room suits and uniforms in violation of the FLSA, for calculating their overtime pay at a rate excluding their paid lunch time in violation of the FLSA, and for withholding contributions to their employee benefit plan in violation of ERISA.?? Reversing summary judgment for the employer, the Court found that the Portal-to-Portal Act (which amended the FLSA) requires the employer to pay its employees for donning and doffing their “bunny suits” because the employer required them to put on and take off the suits at work and the suits were “directly related to the specific work.” ?The Court concluded, however, that FLSA regulations allowed the employer to exclude the paid lunch time from overtime calculation rates because the parties agreed lunch was not work time. ?Nevertheless, the Ninth Circuit ?held ?that ?the ?employer ?could ?not? credit ?its ?paid lunch (during which no work was performed) to offset its obligation to pay employees for donning and doffing their bunny suits (when work was performed).? ?Because the employer did not properly count the hours employees worked, the Court reversed summary judgment for the employer on the ERISA claim. Ballaris v. Wacker Siltronic Corp., No. 02-35956 (06/03/04; Reinhardt, Silverman, Clifton).
Donning and Doffing “Bunny Suits” At Work is Compensable Time Under the FLSA
Jun 3, 2004