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  • Michigan Workers Should Be Paid for Time Spent Donning and Doffing Protective Gear

Video Transcript:

Hi, my name is Matt Turner. I’m an employment lawyer at Sommers Schwartz, and I want to talk to you today about a trial that I have coming up in a class action case against Sara Lee dealing with employees not being paid for the time they spend putting on and taking off personal protective equipment that they have to wear in order to be able to do their jobs.

For approximately the last 50 years employers, have had a defense in cases like this where they could avoid having to pay for time that employees actually spent working, if the time was only a couple of minutes– was not very much time. Well recently there was a decision that came down from the United States Supreme Court that cast some serious doubt on the continued validity of employers being able get out of jail free for a couple of minutes of time that they didn’t pay their employees. We recently made a presentation to the court in our case against Sara Lee and asked the judge based upon that case to not allow the defendants to raise the defense that they should be able to avoid having to pay for a small amount of time.

And for the first time, at least that I’m aware of, the court has ruled that it is not going to allow the defendants to put forth this defense of allowing them to avoid liability for not paying their employees, even if it’s only a few minutes. And this is a very significant ruling in the wage and hour litigation context that I think that people should be aware of. If you’re involved or have a wage an hour problem, please feel free to give us a call at Sommers-Schwartz, We can help you with your problem.

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