A police officer's activity of donning and doffing protective equipment constitutes an integral and indispensable part of officer's principal activities; it is not preliminary or postliminary within meaning of Portal-to-Portal Act, as required to support officer's claim for compensation for such activity. Because the equipment allowed police department to insure that officers were kept safe, allowed officers to complete their principal duties, was required to be worn, and, for all practical purposes, had to be donned and doffed at assigned station, the time spent donning and doffing that equipment is compensable under the FLSA. Maciel v. City of Los Angeles (C.D. Cal. 2008) 569 F.Supp.2d 1038.
However, several recent District Court cases have come down with widely varied holdings in the past two years, e.g.,
- In Martin v. City of Richmond (2007) 504 F.Supp.2d 766, the employer won a motion for summary judgment regarding the donning & doffing of uniforms, but denied the motion as to time spent donning & doffing protective gear which was ‘integral and indispensable’ to the work performed.
- In Abbe v. City of San Diego (S.D. Cal. 2007) 2007 WL 4146696), the court denied pay for the donning & doffing of both the uniform and protective gear.
- In Lemmon v. City of San Leandro (N.D. Cal. 2007) 538 F.Supp.2d 1200, 1204-06, the court held that donning and doffing of both the police officer’s uniform and special protective gear was compensable under the FLSA.
There will be more to come in 2009 or 2010, including possibly a decision by the 9th Circuit on these issues.