Babcock v. Butler County, No. 14-1467 (3d Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
This putative class action was brought by Sandra Babcock, a corrections officer at the Butler County Prison in Butler, Pennsylvania. Babcock claimed that Butler County failed to properly compensate her and those similarly situated for overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). At issue in this appeal was whether a portion of time for the Butler County Prison corrections officers’ meal periods was compensable under the FLSA. The Third Circuit concluded there was no provision of the FLSA that directly addressed this issue. Two tests were suggested by other courts of appeal: one looked to whether the employee had been relieved from all duties during the mealtime; the other (more generally adopted) looked to the party to which the “predominant benefit” of the mealtime belongs. The District Court noted that the Third Circuit had not yet established a test to determine whether a meal period is compensable under the FLSA. After its review of this case, the Court adopted the “predominant benefit test” and affirmed the District Court.