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Donning and Doffing | Sorts, Employer Obligations, & Extra

Employers may require workers to put on uniforms or protecting gear relying on the kind of enterprise and work setting. To observe federal and state legal guidelines, employers should know the rules of workers placing on and taking off work-related gear and clothes, in any other case referred to as donning and doffing.

Study extra about what’s donning and doffing, frequent varieties of companies that require it, and whether or not you might be obligated to pay workers whereas they’re donning and doffing.

What’s donning and doffing?

Donning and doffing is the apply of workers placing on and eradicating work-related protecting gear, clothes, and uniforms. Donning refers to placing on work garments, gear, and gear, whereas doffing means eradicating them.

Companies that usually require particular apparel for employees have workers who don and doff. Cops, nurses, and safety guards are just a few examples of employees sporting uniforms to carry out work duties.

Typically, uniforms and different clothes worn by workers whereas donning and doffing consists of protecting gear. For instance, firefighters put on hearth resistant jackets, trousers, and boots to remain shielded from flames.

Worker compensation legal guidelines for donning and doffing

Compensating your workers for donning and doffing is dependent upon your kind of enterprise, firm insurance policies, and whether or not or not you’ve gotten an settlement or contract. Take a look at legal guidelines pertaining to worker compensation for donning and doffing beneath.

Figuring out preliminary vs. postliminary actions

Earlier than you possibly can decide if donning and doffing is compensable, you need to perceive preliminary vs. postliminary actions.

Preliminary actions embody actions finished earlier than an worker begins their principal work actions. However, an worker’s postliminary actions embody duties finished after principal work actions are accomplished. Staff’ principal work actions embody what workers are liable for throughout work.

Throughout preliminary and postliminary actions, workers could also be required to don and doff clothes. If that’s the case, employers can select to compensate workers for time spent donning or doffing outdoors of principal work actions.

Integral actions

Sometimes, except the donning and doffing is taken into account an integral a part of an worker’s job, you do not need to compensate them.

Integral components of a job embody essential actions to carry out job duties. For instance, if an worker should put on a hazmat swimsuit to finish work-related assignments and duties, they’re required to don and doff gear and clothes.

As an employer, you establish if donning and doffing is an integral a part of an worker’s job. In the event you do think about it to be an integral exercise, compensate the worker for time spent donning and doffing.


The Truthful Labors Requirements Act (FLSA) pointers for donning and doffing have diversified all through the years. Initially, the FLSA required necessary pay for any worker donning and doffing.

In recent times, the Division of Labor decided that donning and doffing is taken into account “altering garments.” FLSA rules enable employers to exclude time spent altering garments from being thought-about compensable work.

Finally, an employer can decide whether or not or to not compensate an worker for donning and doffing.

You’ll be able to assessment the FLSA’s donning and doffing rules on the Division of Labor web site.

Have extra questions concerning the FLSA?

Obtain our free information to search out out what the FLSA does—and doesn’t— require.

Portal-to-Portal Act

The Portal-to-Portal Act is an modification to the FLSA that specifies whether or not or not time spent doing preliminary or postliminary actions is taken into account compensable work. The Portal-to-Portal Act clarified that sure actions, akin to donning and doffing, will not be compensable working time.

The Portal-to-Portal Act specifies that employers will not be required to pay workers for time spent on preliminary or postliminary actions (e.g., touring to or from work).

Beneath the Portal-to-Portal Act, compensable workdays include principal work actions together with:

  • Duties carried out as a part of a daily work day
  • Actions which might be an integral a part of or are indispensable to workers’ common duties

Regardless that the Portal-to-Portal Act determines most time donning and doffing is uncompensable, the Supreme Courtroom interprets the Portal-to-Portal Act to require compensation for time spent on integral and indispensable to the worker’s principal actions. So, in some circumstances, employers could also be required to pay workers whereas donning and doffing.

For instance, when an worker modifications their garments earlier than or after work, it isn’t usually thought-about compensable working time. Nevertheless, say an worker’s job includes poisonous supplies and they’re required to vary right into a hazmat swimsuit for work. For the reason that worker should put on the swimsuit for defense to carry out their job, the employer should compensate the worker for the reason that donning and doffing is an integral and indispensable a part of their job.

Abstract of donning and doffing legal guidelines

Usually, employers can decide to not pay workers for donning and doffing. Nevertheless, there are just a few exceptions.

As a quick assessment, employers can select to compensate workers for donning and doffing except:

  • Time is taken into account hours labored in line with an employment contract (e.g., collective bargaining settlement or union contract)
  • Employer treats the time as hours labored in line with the enterprise’s guidelines or handbook
  • It’s an integral a part of the worker’s job

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This text has been up to date from its unique publication date of January 23, 2019.

This isn’t supposed as authorized recommendation; for extra info, please click on right here.



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