BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — The US District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Jan. 20 denied a motion filed by Post Foods LLC to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the company failed to compensate employees for overtime hours.
According to the lawsuit, Post Foods’ employees are seeking compensation for the amount of time spent changing clothes and washing their hands before and after shifts. The plaintiffs claim Post Foods’ actions violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.
On May 28, 2019, Post Foods implemented a new uniform policy referred to as the “Captive Uniform Policy,” or “CUP.” Prior to CUP, Post Foods did not require its employees to change into their uniforms at work. They could wear them to work, and then put on earplugs, hairnets, bump caps and safety glasses after they arrived. Employees also were allowed to enter the building from one of four entrances.
Since the implementation of CUP, though, employees have been required to change into their uniforms at work. As part of the new process the employees must enter the building through a single entrance. Once inside, they must change into work shoes, retrieve their uniforms, and proceed to a locker room to change into their uniforms. After changing, they continue to a handwashing and footwear sanitizing station in another building, where they wait in line to use the station. After washing, they put on hairnets and earplugs, and sanitize any equipment they are carrying. Then they proceed to their work areas in various parts of the building, where they officially “clock in” for work. At the conclusion of their work shifts the employees must walk to “doffing areas,” where they remove their uniforms and other accessories and put them into receptacles.
The process in many cases has meant employees are “working” more than 40 hours per week.
Post Foods has not commented on the lawsuit.