Police officers are not entitled to pay under the FLSA for time spent putting on and taking off their uniforms. According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, time spent ”donning and doffing” uniforms doesn’t entitle the officers to pay if they’re not required to change at the workplace and they have the option to change at home Bamonte et al. v. City of Mesa, No. 08-16206, 2010 WL 1131492 (9th Cir. Mar. 25, 2010).
Under the FLSA, activities, which are an “integral and indispensable part” of an employee’s workday, are compensable. Here, police officers filed a claim against the City of Mesa for time spent changing into their uniforms at the police station.
In determining whether the officers were entitled to compensation, the court focused primarily on the location where the changing occurred. The court cited a Department of Labor memorandum that indicated “donning and doffing of required gear is only considered part of the work day where the job mandates that the changing takes place on the employer’s premises.”
Here, because the police officers were not required to change at the station but have the option of changing at home, the 9th circuit determined that the police officers were not entitled to compensation.
Further, the court noted the uniforms the officers were changing into were “generic protective gear” and not specific uniforms designed for the employer’s benefit.