Q: Are there penalties for not compensating employees for time spent donning and doffing if such time is compensable?
A: Yes, there can be steep penalties. The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) allows for employees to seek wages that should have been paid for up to three years. Additionally, the FLSA allows employees to obtain liquidated damages under certain circumstances that can result in an award that equals the amount of wages owed (i.e., the employee gets twice as much as they were originally owed). Successful employees also can be awarded their attorneys’ fees and costs.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER