The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that firefighters picking up their protective gear from their home station before reporting to shifts at another location were not entitled to overtime pay. The firefighters argued that they should be paid for gear-retrieval time when it is requested that their gear be kept at their home station. The Court disagreed, saying that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “excludes activities that happen before or after the principal duties the employee is asked to perform.” They concluded that the firefighters only needed to be paid for the time upon arriving at the place of work (the fire station where their work would be performed).
The U.S. Wage and Hour Division (WHD) fact sheet on hours worked under the FLSA is a good resource for “compensable time” issues like this one.