Wage & Hour Interpretation on "Changing Clothing" Under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) - 29 U.S.C. § 203(o) (Section 3(o) of the FLSA) provides that time employees spend "changing clothes or washing at the beginning or end of each workday" is not compensable time under the FLSA when the time is not deemed compensable time either pursuant to "the express terms or by custom or practice" under a collective bargaining agreement. The DOL has gone back and forth about whether or not donning or doffing "protective equipment" is or is not the changing of clothes.
On June 16, 2010, Administrator's Interpretation No. 2010-2 was issued based upon legislative history and upon a Supreme Court decision holding that activities that are integral and indispensable are principal activities, and activities occurring after the first principal activity and before the last principal activity, are compensable. The interpretation states: "clothes changing covered by § 203(o) may be a principal activity. Where that is the case, subsequent activities, including walking and waiting, are compensable."