A U.S. District Court in Louisiana awarded this week a summary judgment to House of Raeford in a donning and doffing case involving multiple union and non-union plants.  House of Raeford had moved for summary judgment, arguing that a “custom and practice” of non-compensation for donning and doffing at the union plants made the time non-compensable according to Section 203(o) of its Fair Labor Standards Act.  House of Raeford also argued that at the non-union plants, the donning and doffing time was properly excluded from compensable time pursuant to the Portal-to-Portal Act because it was not a “principal activity.”

The lawsuit included workers from union and non-union plants in Louisiana, South Carolina, and North Carolina.  The parties consented to have a magistrate judge decide a test case, involving one union plant and one non-union plant, and to be bound by the outcome at all the facilities.