The opinion of the court was delivered by: David R. Strawbridge United States Magistrate Judge
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Supplemental Motion for Conditional Certification of her Uniform Maintenance Claim (Doc. 62), the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's ("CHOP") Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Plaintiff's Motion for Conditional Certification of her Uniform Maintenance Claim (Doc. 68), and Plaintiff's Reply in Support of Conditional Certification of her Uniform Maintenance Claim (Doc. 71). For the reasons set out below, we will grant Plaintiff's motion in part.
I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND*fn1
Plaintiff worked as a security guard at CHOP from November 2008 to
June 2009. She was designated a non-exempt employee for purposes of
the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. ("FLSA"), and
was paid on an hourly basis. She was regularly scheduled to work
shifts totaling 40 hours per week. As is pertinent to this motion, she
alleges that CHOP violated her rights under the FLSA, including her
entitlement to premium pay for work beyond 40 hours
in a workweek, by not recording time she spent outside of her
regularly-scheduled work shifts in maintaining the uniform that she
was required to wear while on duty. In support of her efforts to
expand her suit into a collective action, she has also asserted that
CHOP had common policies and practices in place at the time of her
employment with respect to required uniforms or appearance standards
that render her similarly-situated to all other non-exempt employees,
none of whom were compensated for time spent laundering their work
attire. She seeks the certification of a class that would include all
Pennsylvania residents that CHOP employed on an hourly basis at any
time during the period of December 20, 2007 to the present*fn2
who were required to launder their own uniforms.
A.Hours worked under the FLSA
The FLSA provides, inter alia, that employers must pay employees at least a minimum wage for all "work" performed, as well as compensate them at the rate of "time --and-one-half" for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week. Department of Labor regulations clarify that "work" time includes time spent on tasks not requested but suffered or permitted by the employer to be performed, 29 C.F.R. § 785.11, including "work performed away from the premises or the job site, or even at home." Id. § 785.12. The regulations stress that an employer "cannot sit back and accept the benefits without compensating for them." Id. § 785.13.
The Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, however, enacted various amendments to the FLSA in response to judicial decisions that had resulted in unexpected liabilities for employers under the FLSA. It provides that employers are "relie[ved] from liability and punishment" under the FLSA for failure to pay overtime compensation under the following circumstances:
(a) Activities not compensable
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section [relating to "[c]ompensability by contract or custom"], no employer shall be subject to any liability or punishment under [the FLSA] ... on account of the failure of such employer to pay an employee minimum wages, or to pay an employee overtime compensation, for or on account of any of the following activities of such employee ...
(1) walking, riding, or traveling to and from the actual place of performance of the principal activity or activities which such employee is employed to perform, and
(2) activities which are preliminary to or postliminary to said principal activity or activities, which occur either prior to the time on any particular workday at which such employee commences, or subsequent to the time on any particular workday at which he ceases, such principal activity or activities. . . . 29 U.S.C. § 254. The Supreme Court has defined non-compensable "preliminary" and "postliminary" activities as set out in § 254(a)(2) as those which are not "an integral and indispensable part of the principal activity of the employment." Steiner v. Mitchell, 350 U.S. 247, 256 (1956). The Court has also explained that "the fact that certain preshift activities are necessary for employees to engage in their principal activities does not mean that those preshift activities are 'integral and indispensable' to a 'principal activity' under Steiner." IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez, 546 U.S. 21, 39 (2005). Courts have also noted that these two terms are "not synonymous": "'Indispensable' means 'necessary.' 'Integral' means, inter alia, 'essential to completeness'; 'organically joined or linked'; 'composed of constituent parts making a whole'."
Gorman v. Consolidated Edison Corp., 488 F.3d 586, 592 (2d Cir. 2007) (citations to Webster's Dictionary omitted). Applying these principles, courts have found the sharpening of a knife "integral" to the carving of a carcass, a principal activity of a butcher, Mitchell v. King Packing Co., 350 U.S. 250, 263 (1956); the powering up and testing of an x-ray machine "integral" to the taking of x-rays, a principal activity of an x-ray technician, Kosakow v. New Rochelle Radiology Assocs., P.C., 274 F.3d 707 (2d Cir. 2001); and the feeding, training, and walking of a police dog "integral" to the work of a K-9 officer, Reich v. New York City Transit Auth., 45 F.3d 646 (2d Cir. 1995).
The penalties provision of the FLSA provides ...