Are You Paid for Time Putting On and Taking Off Required Sanitary Gear?
Our wage and hour attorneys represent food manufacturing and clean room workers.
Do you have to put on and take off any special sanitary gear or clothing at your workplace, not just for personal protection, but because of the job you do?
If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you should be paid for that time, subject to limited exceptions. Putting on and taking off your gear is often an integral part of your job, and it should be paid just like any other part of your job.
If you aren’t paid for that time, then you may have a claim for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, or both. Nilges Draher LLC is actively reviewing cases on behalf of food manufacturing workers, clean room workers, and others who may have claims for unpaid work. Contact us online today.
How the wage and hour laws apply to required sanitary gear
Again, if putting on special gear required for your work, on your employer’s premises, is a part of your job, then you should be paid for the time you spend putting on or taking off that gear. We represent production workers in a wide variety of industries who may have these types of claims, including:
- Food production
- Consumer goods
There are two key aspects of these claims: you must be required to change on your employer’s premises, and the sanitary gear or clothing must be tied to your actual work. For example, the gear may not just protect you, but also protect the products you are making for consumers of the products. Some of the types of gear and clothing affected by these laws include:
- Hairnets and beard nets
- Anti-static clothing and shoes
- Lint-free clothing
- Rubber or latex gloves
For example, many food production workers must wear hairnets, beard nets, and so on to make sure hair doesn’t get into the food. If that describes you, then you should be paid for the time you spend putting on and taking off your sanitary gear.
Likewise, in electronics production, some workers must wear special anti-static clothing, gloves, and masks to prevent static electricity from ruining delicate components. If you work making circuit boards or other sensitive electronics, and you have to put on and take off anti-static clothing as part of your job, then you should be paid for the time you spend putting on and taking off that clothing.
How our law firm can help
If you work in manufacturing and you aren’t paid for all the time you spend putting on and taking off required sanitary gear, then you may have a claim for unpaid wages. If you otherwise work 40 hours in a workweek and the required on-premises changing time puts you above 40 hours worked, then you should have a claim for unpaid overtime as well. Even if it’s only 15 minutes per shift, over the course of many shifts, that time adds up. That is your time, and you should be paid for it.
Nilges Draher LLC is fighting to hold employers accountable and make sure employees are paid for all hours worked as required by law. If you believe you are not being paid for the time you spend putting on and taking off required gear, contact us today. We’ll listen to your story and explain your legal rights and options. Talk to an experienced wage and hour attorney as soon as possible. We can help.