Valet Uniforms May Be “Materials” for Purposes of FLSA Enterprise Coverage


In a decision that broadens the reach of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that valet uniforms could be “materials” that trigger enterprise coverage for a car valet service. Under the FLSA, an “enterprise” is covered if it “has employees handling, selling, or otherwise working on good or materials that have been moved in or produced for interstate or international commerce by any person.” The Eleventh Circuit had previously defined “materials” as “tools or other articles necessary for doing or making something” that has “a significant connection with the employer’s commercial activity.”

In Asalde v. First Class Parking Syst. LLC, the Eleventh Circuit found that the uniforms were used in the performance of the valet service, as they offered a way for customers to identify the valets to whom they would entrust their vehicle. As such, the uniforms were essential to the commercial activity of a valet service. Finally, because the uniforms were made in other countries, they could meet the requirement of movement in “international commerce.” As the dissent noted, this interpretation of “materials” “would make virtually every business that uses items not locally made subject to the FLSA.”