Legal Alert: Tenth Circuit Decides that Protective Gear Included in FLSA Exemption for Changing Clothes

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The Tenth Circuit, which includes Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma, decided this week that an employer did not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") by failing to pay employees for time spent donning and doffing protective gear. See Salazar v. Butterball LLC (July 5, 2011).

In Salazar, the appeals court upheld the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer, Butterball. In doing so, the court offered an expansive definition of "clothes" under 29 U.S.C. § 203(o) of the FLSA, disagreeing with the Department of Labor's narrow interpretation of that term.

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