July 18, 2008
Donning and doffing lawsuits are gaining momentum in the U.S., according to Briggs shareholder Max C. Heerman, who examines the issue in the April 2008 issue of For the Defense (monthly publication of the trade organization DRI).
In "Defending FLSA Donning and Doffing Cases," a version of which also appears in Hennepin Lawyer (May 2008), outlines a number of important issues for employers and defense counsel to consider when facing a donning and doffing action, including class issues, conflicting state and federal laws, the definition of “work,” and the de minimis defense.
Any company can be targeted for a donning and doffing lawsuits as long as its employees wear uniforms or protective gear, or spend pre- or post-shift time performing a task like booting up a computer. This includes food processing companies, power plants, chemical manufacturers and call centers to name a few.
Heerman is a litigator who represents employers in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases, including donning and doffing disputes.