Whether companies should pay employees for the time it takes them to get into uniforms required to perform the job has long been a bone of contention between management and labor.
The issue has been raised again by two nurses in Colorado, who have filed a lawsuit because they believe they should be paid to put on and take off their medical uniforms.
"We have to go into a certain area not by the time clock, to find our size, which is not readily available and then change and then go back to the time clock and punch in," nurse Natalie Fiore told KCNC-TV in Denver.
Fiore and fellow nurse Lisa Stransky work at Aurora Medical Center in suburban Denver. In a lawsuit filed against HealthOne of Denver, the hospital's parent company, the women said policies require them to wear scrubs to perform their duties and the uniforms aren't permitted to leave the hospital.
The nurses therefore believe they should be paid for the time it takes to put on and take off the scrubs. Fiore and Stranksy believe that once their complaint is heard more employees of the hospital group both locally and nationwide will join in the lawsuit, the news station reported.
An attorney representing the two said the 15 minutes it takes to get dressed and undressed may not seem like much, but adds up during the year.
Fiore, a single parent, told KCNC that getting dressed at the hospital takes time. "I have teens and I want to be home as soon as I can," she said.
For its part, HealthOne said in a statement that its policies comply with federal labor laws.
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