Supreme Court: Amazon Warehouse Workers Shouldn’t Be Paid For Security Screening Time

These people are standing in line for iPhones, but many are probably paid. (nikony13)

These people are standing in line for iPhones, but many are probably paid. (nikony13)

Two months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk et al., concerning the question of whether employees at a warehouse–an Amazon distribution center, in this case–should be paid for the time that they spend waiting for security checks when they leave work. The Supremes issued a unanimous decision earlier than expected, and they say that security checks should not be considered part of the job at a distribution center.

The original lawsuit was a class action filed against Integrity Staffing, a company that Amazon contracts to recruit and pay warehouse workers. The two lead plaintiffs, employees of Amazon distribution centers in Nevada, claimed that the process of waiting and submitting to a search for stolen goods took half an hour each day when they left work, and that since this was a mandatory part of their jobs, they should be paid for it.

The Supreme Court reversed a federal appeals court decision declaring that workers should receive overtime pay for security screenings. While employees are searched for the benefit of the company (in this case, Amazon), having their belongings X-Rayed is not part of their job duties. While eliminating the screenings could lead to “shrinkage” problems for Amazon, waiting in security lines is not part of the warehouse workers’ duties.

Opinion analysis: No overtime pay for after-work security check [SCOTUSblog]

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