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Workers fight for unpaid wages


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While there have been a number of high-profile cases surrounding companies that have failed to pay their employees for hours worked, the issue surrounding donning and doffing and egress-regress is not always clear.

Egress and regress refers to time an employee may spend before or after they start or end their shift getting ready for or signing off work. Donning and doffing is applied to time spent by workers who have to put on and take off uniforms or other types of required clothing.

In the case of U.S. Steel, for example, an unpaid wages lawsuit has made it all the way to the Supreme Court as workers fight for their right to be paid for time both putting on and taking off safety gear, a task that can take more than 10 or 15 minutes every time. The workers argue they should be paid from the moment they first engage in any work-related activity.

Computer giant Apple also faces an unpaid wages lawsuit by employees who claim they were not paid for time spent waiting in security bag check lines when they clocked in and out of work.
A number of other retail outlets have also faced similar lawsuits, including Forever 21 and Polo Ralph Lauren. In the case of Polo, that lawsuit was settled for $4 million.

At the heart of these cases is whether the companies violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, which is designed to protect workers against certain unfair pay practices or work regulations.

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