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California Donning and Doffing

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California employees have filed lawsuits alleging they are not properly paid for time spent donning and doffing safety gear, special uniforms, or other clothing required for their jobs. In addition to putting on and taking off work gear, such wage and hour lawsuits may also encompass allegations involving forced security checks, lengthy log-in sessions, or other unpaid work activities. As a result, employees say they have lost out on wages and overtime pay. Although the per-shift amount of money lost to unpaid donning and doffing time may seem small, over the course of a year it can add up to a significant amount, especially if it counts as overtime.

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California Donning and Doffing

California donning and doffing refers to procedures in which employees are required to wear specialty gear—including uniforms, safety gear, or other tools and equipment—or undertake other work-related activities before they are allowed to begin their official work duties. In the case of specialty clothing, gear can take up to 20 minutes to put on and take off, and employers sometimes require employees to put on and take off the gear before and after work and at the start and end of meal breaks.

construction worker People who work with computers might be required to undergo lengthy log-in and log-out procedures at the start and end of every shift and during breaks, but they may not be paid for that time. Employees might also be required to take part in unpaid team meetings or spend long hours waiting for security checks before they can leave a worksite.

The Supreme Court has ruled that employees should be paid for time employees spend involved in certain activities, if those activities are essential to the work being done. The courts also consider whether the employer or the employee benefits from the required safety gear. Although employees benefit from safety gear by being protected from job-related hazards, employers also benefit by paying less in employee sick time in the event employees are injured on the job.

There may also be a question of how much control the employee has in the circumstances surrounding donning and doffing. If employees are required to leave the safety gear at work, and are therefore unable to fully prepare for work while at home, they may be eligible for compensation.

California Donning and Doffing Lawsuits

In 2012, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a wage and hour class action lawsuit. Part of the lawsuit alleged employees were not paid for time spent putting on and taking off uniforms that they were required to leave at the hotel. Included in the lawsuit were allegations that employees were also not given proper breaks.

Donning and doffing wage and hour lawsuits allege that employees should be compensated for time spent involved in certain work activities and that compensation should either come in the form of having that time included in the regular workday or as overtime pay outside of the regular shift.

California Donning and Doffing Legal Help

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CALIFORNIA DONNING AND DOFFING LEGAL ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS

California Supreme Court Says Employers Must Pay for De Minimis Off-the-Clock Work
California Supreme Court Says Employers Must Pay for De Minimis Off-the-Clock Work
August 3, 2018
Los Angeles, CA Why should a worker bear the burden when an employer can’t keep track of time? With this question, the California Supreme Court threw open the doors to California labor lawsuits on behalf of workers who are tired of being nickel and dimed out of their pay for brief, but repeated, stints of off-the-clock work READ MORE

Supreme Court Restricts Class Action Availability for Wage Theft Violations
Supreme Court Restricts Class Action Availability for Wage Theft Violations
July 10, 2018
Washington, DC “Congratulations! Welcome to FillInTheBlank Company! Sign here and ask for Ms. Someone when you come tomorrow.” By the time the intake interview is over, many workers have already signed away their rights to bring class action wage theft lawsuits under federal and California labor law READ MORE

Class Action Status Critical to California Donning and Doffing Wage Lawsuit
Class Action Status Critical to California Donning and Doffing Wage Lawsuit
May 8, 2018
Los Angeles, CA: In his California labor lawsuit, Douglas Troester claims that Starbucks underpaid him by $102.67 during the year that he worked there. Chump change for Starbucks, but no one in his right mind would sue a huge multinational corporation for $102.67 -- even when that’s the grocery money – unless, of course, he or she can win and make a bigger point READ MORE

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