This case actually is the consolidation of two cases. At

This case actually is the consolidation of two cases. At issue in both cases is the calculation of the workday for the purposes of distinguishing between regular and overtime hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Both cases involve meat processing companies and whether the employer must count the time workers spend putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) required protective gear as a part of the workday. Also at issue are the minutes the workers walk from the locker room area to the production area. The Court analyzes the Fair Labor Standards Act and its amendment. Specifically, the Court notes that the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947 emphasizes that the workday begins when workers engage in their principal activities. This law attempted to make it clear that employers are not liable to pay workers for the time they spend walking on the employers' property from a time clock to the actual workplace or for any time spent in preliminary or post luminary activities to the workers' principal working activities. STEVENS. J.: … IBP, Inc. (IBP), is a large producer of fresh beef, pork, and related products …. All production workers must wear outer garments, hardhats, hairnets, earplugs, gloves, sleeves, aprons, leggings, and boots. Many of them, particularly those who use knives, must also wear a variety of protective equipment for their hands, arms, torsos, and legs; this gear includes chain-link metal aprons, vests, Plexiglass armguards, and special gloves. IBP requires its employees to store their equipment and tools in company locker rooms, where most of them don their protective gear. Production workers' pay is based on the time spent cutting and bagging meat. Pay begins with the first piece of meat and ends with the last piece of meat. Since 1998, however, IBP has also paid for four minutes of clothes-changing time. In 1999, respondents, IBP employees, filed this class action to recover compensation for preproduction and postproduction work including the time spent donning and doffing protective gear and walking between the locker rooms and the production floor before and after their assigned shifts. After a lengthy bench trial, the District Court for the Eastern District of Washington held that doing and doffing of protective gear that was unique to the jobs at issue were compensable under the FLSA because they were integral and indispensable to the work of the employees who wore such equipment. Moreover, consistent with the continuous workday rule, the District Court concluded that, for those employees required to don and doff unique protective gear, the walking time between the locker room and the production floor was also compensable because it occurs during the workday …. The District Court proceeded to apply these legal conclusions in making detailed factual findings with regard to the different groups of employees. For example, the District Court found that, under its view of what was covered by the FLSA, processing division knife users were entitled to compensation for between 12 and 14 minutes of preproduction and postproduction work, including 3.3 to 4.4 minutes of walking time. The Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court's ultimate conclusions on these issues …. IBP does not challenge the holding below that … the donning and doffing of unique protective gear are “principal activities” under the Portal-to-Portal Act …. Thus, the only question for us to decide is whether the Court of Appeals correctly rejected IBP's contention that the walking between the locker rooms and the production areas is excluded from FLSA coverage by the Portal-to-Portal Act …. IBP emphasizes that our decision in Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 66 S. Ct. 1187, may well have been the proximate cause of the enactment of the Portal-to-Portal Act. In that case we held that the FLSA mandated compensation for the time that employees spent walking from time clocks located near the plant entrance to their respective places of work prior to the start of their productive labor. In IBP's view, Congress's forceful repudiation of that holding reflects a purpose to exclude what IBP regards as the quite similar walking time spent by respondents before and after their work slaughtering cattle and processing meat. Even if there is ambiguity in the statute, we should construe it to effectuate that important purpose. This argument is also unpersuasive. There is a critical difference between the walking at issue in Anderson and the walking at issue in this case. In Anderson the walking preceded the employees' principal activity; it occurred before the workday began. The relevant walking in this case occurs after the workday begins and before it ends. Only if we were to endorse IBP's novel submission that an activity can be sufficiently “principal” to be compensable, but not sufficiently so to start the workday, would this case be comparable to Anderson for the foregoing reasons, we hold that … any walk mg t1me that occurs after the beginning of the employee's first principal activity and before the end of the employee's last principal activity … is covered by the FLSA. Baber Foods Inc. (Barber), operates a poultry process mg plant m Portland, Maine, that employs about 300 production workers. These employees operate six production lines and perform a variety of tasks that require different combinations of protective clothing. They are paid by the hour from the time they punch in to computerized time clocks located at the entrances to the production floor. Petitioners are Barber employees and former employees who brought this action to recover compensation for alleged unrecorded work covered by the FLSA. Specifically, they claimed that Barber's failure to compensate them for (a) donning and doffing required protective gear and (b) the attendant walking and waiting violated the statute. After extensive discovery, the Magistrate Judge issued a comprehensive opinion analyzing the facts in detail, and recommending the entry of partial summary judgment in favor of Barber. That opinion, which was later adopted by the District Court for Maine, included two critical rulings. First, the Magistrate held that “the donning and doffing of clothing and equipment required by the defendant or by government regulation, as opposed to clothing and equipment which employees choose to wear or use at their option, is an integral part of the plaintiffs' work [and therefore are] not excluded from compensation under the Portal-to-Portal Act as preliminary or postliminy activities.” Second, the Magistrate rejected petitioners' claims for compensation for the time spent before obtaining their clothing and equipment. Such time, in the Magistrate's view, “could [not] reasonably be construed to be an integral part of employees' work activities any more than walking to the cage from which hairnets and earplugs are dispensed …. ” Accordingly, Barber was “entitled to summary judgment on any claims based on time spent walking from the plant entrances to an employee's workstation, locker, time clock or site where clothing and equipment required to be worn on the job is to be obtained and any claims based on time spent waiting to punch in or out for such clothing or equipment.” … [The Court then reviews the findings of the District Court, which held for Barber, and the 1st Court of Appeals, which affirmed, saying that Barber is not responsible to pay for and count toward the FLSA maximum hours the time the workers spent waiting to put on protective gear, the time these workers spent actually putting on the protective gear, and the time these workers spent walking to the actual work sit Based on the oldling in IBP, the Court quickly decide the 1st Circuit was wrong with respect to the time work _ errs spent Donn mg and doffing protective gear and walk mg to and from the locker room and workplace. The Court then concentrates on the issue of how to handle the to me workers might spend waiting to get the1r protecnve gear.] Petition als argued in the Court of Appeals that the wa1tmg t1me associated with the donning and doffing of clothes was compensable. The Court of App eels disagree _ d, _ holding that . the waiting time quahf1ed as a primary or posthmmary activity” and thus was excluded from FLSA coverage by the Portal-to-Portal Act. Our analysis … demonstrates that the Court of Appeals was incorrect with regard to the predefine waiting time. Because doffing gear that is “integral and indispensable” to employees' work is a “principal activity” under the statute, the continuous workday rule mandates that time spent waiting to doff is not affected by the Portal-to-Portal Act and its instead covered by the FLSA. The time spent waiting to don-time that elapses before the principal activity of donning integral and indispensable gear-presents the quite different question whether it should have the effect of advancing the time when the work-day begins. Barber argues that such preponing waiting time is explicitly covered by the Portal-to-Portal Act, which, as noted above, excludes “activities which are preliminary to or postmilitary to [a] principal activity or activities” from the scope of the FLSA. By contrast, petitioners maintain that the preponing waiting time is “integral and indispensable” to the “principal activity” of donning, and is therefore itself a principal activity. However, unlike the donning of certain types of protective gear, which is always essential if the worker is to do his job, the waiting may or may not be necessary in particular situations or for every employee. It is certainly not “integral and indispensable” in the same sense that the donning is. It does, however, always comfortably qualify as a “preliminary” activity. We thus do not agree with petitioners that the preponing waiting time at issue in this case is a “principal activity” . … As Barber points out, the fact that certain redshift activities are necessary for employees to engage in their principal activities does not  next n that those preshift activities are “integral and mdispensable” to a “principal activity.” … For example, walking from a time clock near the factory gate to a workstation is certainly necessary for employees to begin their work, but it is indisputable that the Portal-to-Portal Act evinces Congress's  tent . to repudiate Anderson's holding that such walk mg the .':as compensable under the FLSA. We discern no hmitmg principle that . would allow  nude the  the waiting time m dispute here IS a uncial activity, without also leading to the logical (but untenable) conclusion that the walking time at issue in Anderson would be a “principal activity” and would thus be unaffected by the Portal-to-Portal Act …. In short, we are not persuaded that such waiting-which in this case is two steps removed from the productive activity on the assembly line-is “integral and indispensable” to a “principal activity” that identifies the time when the continuous workday begins …. For the reasons stated above, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and we remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opm10n.
1. What is the split between the circuit courts that this case attempts to resolve?
2. Why are companies willing to litigate the issue of what counts and doesn't count as workday activities when, so few minutes are likely involved?
3. What three holdings does the Court announce in this case?