Top court: No need to pay workers for time in security lines – Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

“The court of appeals erred by focusing on whether an employer required a particular activity,” Thomas wrote. “The integral and indispensable test is tied to the productive work that the employee is employed to perform.”

He added that Integrity Staffing Solutions, a company that provides workers for Amazon warehouses across the nation, “did not employ its workers to undergo security screenings, but to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and package those products for shipment to Amazon customers.”

There are more than a dozen class-action suits filed against Amazon and other companies that use security checks at the end of shifts to make sure none of their inventory walks out with the workers. A win would have opened the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

The workers had claimed that because the security checks were required in order to keep their jobs, they should be compensated for their time. And they said that the company could cut the wait time by employing more security screeners or staggering shifts so that not all the workers were released at once.

But the court agreed with the Obama administration in reading the law to favor the company.

Thomas said it was not relevant to the law whether the company had ways to reduce the wait time. “These arguments are properly presented to the employer at the bargaining table, not to a court,” he wrote.

The case, Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, was one of the first two signed opinions of the court’s current term.




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