U.S. Supreme Court Hears Sandifer Case

The justices will decide whether or not workers should be paid for the time they take to put on and remove safety equipment.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Nov. 4 in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, where the issue is what "changing" clothes means in the Fair labor Standards Act. This simple question became more complicated, suggests The New York Times, as lawyers and the justices debated. The unionized steelworkers initially filed a case asking to be paid for the time it took to put on and take off their work clothes (flame-resistant outerwear, gloves, boots, goggles, ear plugs, etc). U.S. Steel argued this activity falls under the category of clothing, which essentially any worker in any industry wears.

Current federal law suggests the time does not need to be compensated for if the union agrees to the exclusion through a collective bargaining agreement, according to Bloomberg News.

A three-judge appellate court previously decided that most of what the steelworkers put on is clothing "in the ordinary sense," and that items such as ear plugs and hard hats take a trivial amount of time to put on and therefore are unimportant. According to Bloomberg News, this suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court justices are likely to favor U.S. Steel when they decide the case.

For more information about the case, including the briefs, visit http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/sandifer-v-united-states-steel-corporation/.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue