Business Strategies / Process and Operations / Food Safety

Compliance Issues: Are You Liable for Donning and Doffing Back-Pay?

Are You Paying Too Much Already?

Certainly HR depts. are concerned, as is upper-level management, but anyone who holds even a low-level supervisory position in a food & beverage plant should familiarize himself with U.S. Dept. of Labor rules on pay for donning and doffing of uniforms, protective gear and other required work wear.

After all, this seemingly minor issue went all the way to the Supreme Court. You don’t want to make your company liable for a million-dollar judgment.

A spate of court cases and decisions have clarified or at least redefined this thorny issue -- starting back in 2003 when an employee sued then IBP (Iowa Beef Processing), progressing through a landmark 2005 Supreme Court decision and continuing today -- employees at a Kraft Oscar Mayer meat processing plant in Davenport just filed suit in November 2010 and are awaiting court action.

It’s not just donning and doffing that’s compensable, but the time spent walking from the changing room to the work station – and in reverse at the end of the shift. And what about lunch and other breaks?

Kronos, the employee time-management experts, figure that every minute you pay (or owe) workers for donning and doffing can add up to $100,000 a year (based on 1,000 employees making $12 an hour). So don’t get caught in a judgment … but don’t overpay, either.

Join us for a Jan. 11 webcast that will update you on recent interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as it relates to pre- and post- job activities, and will give you tips on how not only to comply but to keep your costs to a minimum.

Register today by clicking here.