Smiley v. EI DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 14-4583 (3d Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs worked 12-hour shifts at DuPont’s Towanda, Pennsylvania manufacturing plant and had to be onsite before and after their shifts to “don and doff” uniforms and protective gear. They were required to participate in “shift relief,” which involved employees from the outgoing shift sharing information about the status of work with incoming shift employees. The time spent donning, doffing, and providing shift relief ranged from 30-60 minutes a day. DuPont compensated plaintiffs for 30-minute meal breaks and two other non-consecutive 30-minute breaks during their twelve-hour shifts, although there was no legal requirement to do so. The paid break time always exceeded the amount of time plaintiffs spent donning and doffing and providing shift relief. The district court rejected, on summary judgment, plaintiffs’ claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201, and Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law, seeking overtime compensation for time they spent donning and doffing and performing “shift relief” on behalf of a purported class. The Third Circuit reversed, finding that the FLSA and applicable regulations, as its 2005 precedent in Wheeler v. Hampton Twp., limiting offsetting to “extra compensation” not included in the regular rate, compel the opposite result.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 15, 2016.