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What Is The Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947?

When you work, you must be compensated for all of the hours that you spend for your job. However, there are certain activities in which you might engage that are not compensable time. The Portal-to-Portal Act is a law that was passed in 1947 that makes certain types of activities not compensable. If you have questions about whether your employer should have compensated you for some of the hours that you have spent for your job, talk to the employment law team at Swartz Swidler.

What is the Portal-to-Portal Act?

In 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a workweek included the time that employees spent while walking from a factory entrance to their work areas. Congress passed the Portal-to-Portal Act in 1947 in response to this ruling so that they could make these types of activities not compensable. Under the act, some preliminary activities that you might do before your job are not compensable. This might include the time that you spend commuting to your job. Similarly, some of the activities that you complete after your workday is finished also are not compensable time, including the time that you spend on your commute home from your job.

Under this law, employers do not have to pay workers for the time that the workers spend on preliminary activities and those that they perform when their workdays are finished. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the law requires that employers pay their workers for the time that they spend doing activities that are integral to their primary job duties.

Schedule an appointment today. Call (856) 685-7420 or

Schedule an appointment today.
Call (856) 685-7420 or

Exceptions to the Portal-to-Portal Act

Through several decisions, the Supreme Court has defined several exceptions to the Portal-to-Portal Act. These are preliminary activities or activities that happen at the end of the day that are compensable. For example, the time spent by workers to put on and take off protective clothing at their job sites is considered to be compensable time. If workers are required to work with caustic materials and must wash up after work before leaving, that time is likewise compensable. If a worker is asked to travel to a different job site after he or she has arrived at work, the time spent traveling to the secondary site is compensable time.

Contact Swartz Swidler

If you have been required to perform certain tasks for your job but haven’t been compensated for them, you might want to talk to one of the experienced employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler. We can review your job activities and explain whether it appears that you should have been compensated for the time that you spent doing them. Call us today to schedule your consultation.

Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact one of our attorneys. For more information check out the FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is contact one of our attorneys. For more information on a just a few scenarios checkout the flip box FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page.

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Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

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Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733