Eleventh Circuit: Valet Uniforms May Be “Materials” Requiring FLSA Coverage of Employees


Employers with AL, FL, and GA Employees


June 29, 2018


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In Asalde v. First Class Parking Sys. LLC, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal stated that a jury may determine whether valet uniforms meet the “materials” definition for “enterprise coverage” which would allow them the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA applies, in part, to employers who have “employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for [interstate or international] commerce by any person” and have an annual volume of business of at least $500,000. (Emphasis added.)

There, a group of valet workers brought a collective action against First Class Parking claiming wage and hour violations under the FLSA; however, the employer claimed the employees did not qualify for enterprise coverage and so did not have standing to sue. Eleventh Circuit precedent states that a “material” must be:

  • Tools or other articles “necessary for doing or making something”; and
  • Have a significant connection with the employer’s commercial activity.

The court stated that because the uniforms gave customers a way to identify valets, and customers may not use the company’s service if they could not identify the valets, a jury may find that the uniforms meet the definition of “material,” thereby applying FLSA coverage to the employees. The court also pointed to the fact that the uniform labels indicated manufacture outside of the U.S., implicating their movement in interstate or international commerce. Ultimately, the court allowed the case to proceed.

Action Items

  1. Where FLSA coverage is in doubt, have business operations evaluated to determine whether FLSA compliance is required.
  2. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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