Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in Business Insurance, in “Wage and Hour Litigation Issues Loom for Employers,” by Judy Greenwald. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
Employers are expected to face significant litigation over wage and hour issues because of the complex issues — and equally complex federal, state and local regulations — they must deal with — as they bring employees back to the workplace or firm up plans to have them remain working from home, experts say.
While the Fair Labor Standards Act essentially governs federal issues, state law is often even more stringent and presents a daunting challenge to multistate employers, these experts say.
The issues faced by employers are two-fold: those impacting workers returning to the workplace and those relevant to employees who plan to remain working from home.
Issues related to employees who return to the workplace amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic include paying for time spent having their temperatures taken, donning and doffing protective clothing and equipment, and wiping down their computers. …
Experts point to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous 2014 ruling in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, which held that warehouse employees need not be paid for the time they spend going through security checks to ensure they have not stolen any products.
“Whether temperature checks need to be treated as working time is an issue that has not been definitively resolved yet in the courts or through agency guidance,” said Paul DeCamp, a member of Epstein Becker & Green P.C. in Washington, who is co-chair of the firm’s national wage and hour practice group.
“Nevertheless, that type of consideration is something that businesses need to think about now, if they’re going to be engaging in any of that sort of activity,” which includes taking temperatures, asking employees questions at the start of a shift or checking for symptoms.