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DOL Issues Administrator Interpretation On The Definition Of “Clothes”

Published by on June 17, 2010

Rejecting the use of a dictionary in favor of ordinary usage, the Division recently posted a new Administrator Interpretation pertaining to Section 3(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 203(o), and the definition of “clothes.”  The new Administrator Interpretation is designated as AI 2010-2.  Please click on the following link to access […]

Rejecting the use of a dictionary in favor of ordinary usage, the Division recently posted a new Administrator Interpretation pertaining to Section 3(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 203(o), and the definition of “clothes.”  The new Administrator Interpretation is designated as AI 2010-2.  Please click on the following link to access this letter http://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/adminIntrprtnFLSA.htm.  More after the break.

The scope of the letter is as follows:

Section 3(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that time spent “changing clothes or washing at the beginning or end of each workday” is excluded from compensable time under the FLSA if the time is excluded from compensable time pursuant to “the express terms or by custom or practice” under a collective bargaining agreement. 29 U.S.C. § 203(o). After a careful analysis of the statutory provision and a thorough review of the legislative history and case law, the Administrator is issuing this interpretation of the term “clothes” in § 203(o), and of whether clothes changing covered by § 203(o) is a principal activity, to provide needed guidance on these important and frequently litigated issues.

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