Basically, egress, regress, donning and doffing as they apply to employment have to do with duties that are considered vital for work but that employees are not necessarily paid for. Egress and regress refer to work duties such as logging into computer systems, setting up files and retrieving company tools before starting work. Although employees are often required to be fully set up to start their shift, they are often not paid for the time before their shift that is spent in these preparations. Nor are they often paid for the time spent after their shift shutting down programs, or the time on their breaks that it takes to log in to or out of various computer systems.
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And although one may argue that by taking a job the employee agrees to the extra time it takes to prepare for a shift, it can also be argued that the company benefits from employees taking that time, and if the duties being performed are vital to the employee’s job, the employee should be paid for that time.
One lawsuit, which will be heard by the Supreme Court, argues that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees must be paid from the moment they first engage in a principal activity that is required by the job.