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Not Getting Paid For Required Uniform Pickup - Texas

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  • Not Getting Paid For Required Uniform Pickup - Texas


    I am employed in Texas. I work at a location where we are required to have a master key which is considered a mandatory uniform item to have on our person, however it has to be checked in and out from our security department, which is 5 minutes across the building from our timeclock (if you have a fast pace, give or take). There are timeclocks near the security office, however they are considered for other department use, and we do not register on them (even though we could). We are required to pick our card up before we clock in and drop it off after we clock out, however we of course are not paid for the time heading to/from the office, and it is not something we are allowed to take home. I personally consider this "pre-shift & post-shift" work, as we need to wait in the security line before and after our shifts. This may sound quite trivial, however our workplace is slowly going downhill in employee treatment and we're at the point where we're not willing to overlook small things like we have in previous years. In your opinions, am I correct in this, or would this be laughed off by the labor departments?

  • #2
    If you are asking if this should be paid time, the answer is probably not, although there are a lot of court decisions going both ways and there is a chance you are in one of the court jurisdictions that would consider this paid.

    File a wage claim. It works or it does not.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Here's what TX has to say to employers: (and I think your case leans more on the side of 'yes' you should be paid BUT that means if your employer is not going to that you need to make the wage claim like DAW said....

      "F. Preparatory and Concluding Activities

      Time spent in preparatory and concluding activities will constitute compensable hours worked if the activities are an integral part of a principal activity of the work, i.e., if they are closely-related activities which are indispensable to the performance of the principal activity (see 29 C.F.R. 785.24). Such activities might include oiling or cleaning of a machine used in the work, installation of blades or bits in a machine, formatting a floppy diskette or a hard drive, installing new software prior to engaging in word processing, distributing materials or arranging furniture in preparation for a meeting, distributing clothing or safety items to other employees, wiping off tables in a restaurant prior to beginning table waiting duties, removing clothes and showering after working in a hazardous environment, and so on.

      In October, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling regarding a frequent issue for many employers whose employees must wear specific gear for their work. The Court held that "donning and doffing gear that is 'integral and indispensable' to employees' work is a 'principal activity' under the statute," and that "the continuous workday rule mandates that the time the ... petitioners spend walking to and from the production floor after donning and before doffing, as well as the time spent waiting to doff, are not affected by the Portal-to-Portal Act, and are instead covered by the FLSA," i.e., the employer must consider such time to be part of hours worked. However, the Court also held that the FLSA does not require an employer to pay for "the time employees spend waiting to don the first piece of gear that marks the beginning of the continuous workday" as long as the employer has not directed the employees to report early to wait in such a manner, and as long
      as such payment is not required either by custom in the industry or by a specific agreement (IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez (PDF), 546 U.S. 21, 126 S.Ct. 514 (2005)'