Case Brief IBP, Inc. Vs. Alvarez Facts


CaseBrief: IBP, Inc. Vs. Alvarez


Thiswas a US Supreme Court case where the court put an end to conflictsregarding the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA). According to thefacts of the case, the employees of IBP Inc Tyson Foods filed thecase against the company whereby they were requesting reparations forunpaid wages for the time spent walking to and from changing areas aswell as putting and taking off protective gears. The employees arguedthat that time was integral and indispensable to their jobs while theIBP Inc provided that that time does not amount to productiveactivity in accordance to the job prescription.


Theissues that arose include whether time spent walking between thechanging areas was compensable under the FLSA Act and whether thetime employees used in waiting to put on their protective gear wasalso compensable under the law.

Rulesand Application

Therules applicable in this case was section 4(a) of the Portal Actwhich provides that the employer must compensate an employee for hisefforts during the workday which period is taken to be between thefirst and last period of the principle activity. The Act furtherprovides that the employer does not have a duty to compensate theemployee if the activities were carried out outside the workday. Inthis case the employees insisted that walking, waiting at the workstations as well as changing the protective gears constitutedcommence and conclusion of a day’s work and thus the application ofthe Act.


TheSupreme Court ruled in favor of the employees citing that activitiesthat are integral and indispensable to the primary activities re alsoprimary activities and that they are compensable. The court furtherstated that compensating employees was not contrary to the portalsAct as the employers contended in their argument. The court concludedthat the rule of continuous workday mandates the time spent waitingto change the protective gears and that it references to a continuouswork day.


Guerin,L., &amp DelPo, A. (2013). Theessential guide to federal employment laws.

Goldman,A. L., Corrada, R. L., &amp Goldman, A. L. (2011). Labourlaw in the USA.Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.,

Orrick,Herrington &amp Sutcliffe., &amp Practising Law Institute. (2000).Employmentlaw yearbook.New York City: Practising Law Institute.

UnitedStates Supreme Court IBP, INC. v. ALVAREZ, individually and on behalfof all others similarly situated, et al., (2005) No. 03-1238Retrievedfrom