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STEINER V. MITCHELL, 350 U. S. 247 (1956)

U.S. Supreme Court

Steiner v. Mitchell, 350 U.S. 247 (1956)

Steiner v. Mitchell

No. 22

Argued November 16, 1955

Decided January 30, 1956

350 U.S. 247


Workers in a plant manufacturing wet storage batteries, in which extensive use is made of dangerously caustic and toxic materials, are compelled by vital considerations of health and hygiene and by other considerations to change clothes before and after work and to shower after work in facilities which state law requires their employer to provide.

Held: changing clothes and showering are parts of their "principal," rather than their "preliminary" or "postliminary," activities, within the meaning of § 4(a)(2) of the Portal-to-Portal Act, and the time spent in these activities must be counted in measuring the worktime for which compensation is required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Pp. 350 U. S. 248-256.

(a) Activities performed either before or after the regular work shift, on or off the production line, are compensable under the portal-to-portal provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act if those activities are an integral and indispensable part of the principal activities for which covered workmen are employed, and are not specifically excluded by § 4(a)(1). P. 350 U. S. 256.

(b) The conclusion here reached is supported by the legislative history of the Portal-to-Portal Act and by other provisions of the Act and amendments thereto. Pp. 350 U. S. 253-256.

(c) On the facts of this case, changing clothes and showering by these employees clearly are integral and indispensable parts of the principal activity of their employment. Pp. 350 U. S. 249-252, 350 U. S. 256.

215 F.2d 171 affirmed.

Page 350 U. S. 248

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