Indiana visits SCOTUS: Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.
On the slate for this year’s Supreme Court term is a case out of Indiana, Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, discussing whether steel workers should be paid for the time it takes to put on and remove their work clothing. Oral arguments occurred on Monday and have already garnered some enthusiastic responses, so we thought we’d share a little more information about and coverage of the case.
Summaries of the facts and arguments of the case:
7th Circuit Opinion (678 F.3d 590 (2012))
The main issues:
|Clarity of Fair Labor Standards Act, §203(o), or “What are ‘clothes’?”
|Clothing of steel workers should be exempted from this provision because of its protective nature, functioning more as a tool than as something to cover the body||Such an exemption would make 203(o) confusing and difficult to enforce|
|Labor unions have the power to bargain over issues of wages, hours, and working conditions and those agreements should be upheld||The steel workers already had a collective bargaining agreement in place that could have covered this, so they must already be getting some benefit as a concession, and straying from that agreement would harm the collective bargaining process|