Workers deserve to be paid wages and overtime for performing all tasks required for their jobs, including preparing for the day by putting on required safety gear or personal protective equipment (PPE). Refusing to pay workers for that time may constitute wage theft under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

That’s the basis for a new class action lawsuit Sommers Schwartz is investigating on behalf of warehouse distribution employees of U.S. Foods, a leading foodservice distributor with approximately 28,000 employees serving some 300,000 restaurants and operators throughout the country.

Donning and Doffing Is a Job Requirement

Hourly workers deserve to be fully compensated for time spent on all job-related activities. Still, many food service and food processing employees aren’t paid for the time spent putting on (donning) or taking off (doffing) PPE.

Wearing PPE isn’t optional, yet many employers refuse to acknowledge donning and doffing as part of the official workday. Donning and doffing such gear are integral or required parts of their employment, which includes time spent:

  • Putting on or removing required safety equipment or clothing, such as protection for eyes, ears, hands, face, head, and feet.
  • “Walking and waiting” that occurs before and after the employee’s principal work responsibilities.

Employees are entitled to overtime pay (150% of their base rate) when they work more than 40 hours per week. Essential job-related requirements should be counted as on-the-clock activities.

Sommers Schwartz’s Wage and Hour Litigation Group holds employers accountable for FLSA violations and helps employees recover pay for donning and doffing, overtime hours worked, and other wages to which they are entitled.

Class-Action Donning and Doffing Lawsuit Against U.S. Foods

The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz are working with U.S. Foods warehouse distribution employees working at the company’s more than 30 warehouses who have not been paid for time gearing up with required protective equipment or clothing or traveling to and from workstations.

If you are a U.S. Foods employee and think you are owed unpaid wages for time spent donning and doffing, contact us to discuss your right to seek compensation to which you may be entitled.

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Jesse Young

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Jesse Young

Jesse Young represents clients in serious employment disputes, such as severance negotiations, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing activity, employment contracts, terminations, and compliance. In addition, he has appeared in hundreds of wage-and-hour lawsuits and hundreds more arbitrations arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws.