Workers lose fair-pay case over hours spent in security screenings forums forums Politics and other things Workers lose fair-pay case over hours spent in security screenings

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    Workers need not be paid for the time they are required to spend in line for security screenings, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a victory for Amazon and other retailers.

    In a 9-0 decision, the justices rejected a fair-pay lawsuit brought by warehouse workers in Nevada who package and ship products for Amazon.

    The workers argued they deserved extra pay because they had to spend as much as 25 minutes at the end of each day going through a security screening designed to prevent thefts.

    Federal law says employers must pay workers a minimum wage and for overtime, but only for the time they are engaged in the “principal activity” of their jobs, not for the time of coming and going to their work sites.

    But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled for the Nevada warehouse workers on the grounds they were required to stand in line for the security screening. This added time to their work days, and it was done for the benefit for the employer, the appeals court said last year.

    But the Supreme Court took up the company’s appeal and reversed the 9th Circuit’s ruling. Federal law covers only the “productive work that the employee is employed to perform,” Justice Clarence Thomas said in the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions vs. Busk.

    “Integrity Staffing 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.”

    The workers need not be paid, Thomas said, because their principal work does not include “the employees’ time spent waiting to undergo …security screenings.”

    I personally think this is crap. If an employer makes an employee wait in line 25 minutes to LEAVE the workplace, they should be compensated.


    I question the overall costs involved, and I agree people should be compensated for their time when they are unable to purpose it as they choose.

    Potential losses are likely a rounding error overall. Some small amount tacked onto the transactions, or associated with sales somehow, say on promotional pricing, can easily fund a reasonable workplace exit policy.

    People value their time, and there are plenty of resources available to insure things are not lost, within reason, while also insuring the people working can maximize their lives.

    All of reeks of excessive greed and disregard.


    If workers have to wait 25 mins to leave work then the employer needs to speed up the security checkout by hiring more people to process the departing employees.

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