An age-old maxim often applied but infrequently rationalized is that of de minimus non curat lex. In the recent case of Steve Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Company, the United States Supreme Court focused attention upon the doctrine by ruling that it should be applied in determining whether "walking time" and other "preliminary activities" constitute "work" for which employees are entitled to compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The so-called "portal-to-portal" problems which have arisen as a result of the last mentioned ruling make timely a discussion of the origin, meaning, function and application of the maxim.
Max L. Veech & Charles R. Moon,
DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol45/iss5/2