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Sandifer v. united states steel corporation essay sample

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Both the employers and the employees are supposed to conduct themselves at the work place as it is expected of them without infringing on the individual rights. Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation were involved into some disagreement that led to search of legal help. Relying on Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the employees felt that it was their right to be compensated for the time (Daily Labor Report). The act actually provided for the compensation. Should be the company compensate the employees? Or were the employees supposed to be thankful that the company had provided the protective gear? However, the company need to put into consideration of the time spent in changing. It is only advisable to allow justice take its course through judgment delivered by the courts. Let us start with the arguments presented by the petitioner, Sandifer and the workers at the steel company.
Petitioner, Sandifer felt that it was necessary for the respondent, United States Steel Corporation, to compensate them for the time taken to put on and remove the protective gears they had to wear during work. Sandifier was being supported by other employees of the firm. Unity is strength, therefore, to need to unite to be in a better position of suing United States Steel Corporation (Industrial Relations Law Journal.). The employees had an added advantage since they had joined trade unions that enhanced their bargaining power over the company. Relying on the labor act, the employees had the right to be compensated. The employees argued that the provision provided in the act involved, ‘ changing of clothes’, which was the exact thing they would do when they got to the work place.
On the other and, the company management felt that it was the responsibility of the employees to protect themselves against any harm from the steels. They cited that they had already performed their duty of providing the protective gear to the employees which is a mandatory act by all companies. Using the same trade union that the employees had joined, the defendant had signed a contract with the trade union that the employees belonged to that stated that the time lost when changing will not be compensable. It was easier for the company to provide the signed document between them and the union as evidence in the court of law.
Changing into protective gear did not require any compensation as everything revolved around their safety. They would have gone to court if the company had failed to protect the gears. It was not fair to sue the company for their act of protection (Employee Benefits Cases). The court decided that the employees did not deserve to be compensated as the changing to the protective gear did not constitute changing of clothes which was the determinant. It became impossible for Sandifier and the others to get compensated as their union had already entered into an agreement with the company stating that the changing to protective gear would not be compensable.
Look at it this way; your employers are concerned about your safety, goes ahead to provide the necessary equipment to protect you. Isn’t that more of a kind act rather than a mandatory requirement by law. Wouldn’t it be termed as exploitation of the employees demanding for compensation for enhancement of their own safety? I think only malicious people would go to that extent. I would want to leave it for you to decide which the best way to follow is, and the party justified of the judgment delivered. It is always important to put your safety before anything else like money and other benefits.

Work cited:

Daily Labor Report. Washington, D. C: Bureau of National Affairs, 1948. Print.
Industrial Relations Law Journal. Berkeley: School of Law, University of California, 1976.
Print.
United States Code Annotated. St. Paul: West Group, 1927. Print.
Employee Benefits Cases. Washington, D. C: The Bureau, 1900. Print.
Posner, Richard A. Reflections on Judging. , 2013. Internet resource.

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