Supreme Court Denies Workers Pay for Time Spent in Security Lines

On Dec. 9, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that an employee’s time spent in security screening before leaving the workplace is not an integral and indispensable part of the employee’s principal activities. Therefore, this time is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act.

Background

In the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, two employees brought a class action lawsuit demanding unpaid wages against Integrity Staffing Solutions, a company that provides warehouse staffing to Amazon.com. The employees alleged that they should have been paid for the time spent waiting for and undergoing security screenings—approximately 25 minutes per day—under the FLSA.

The employees also argued that screening time could have been reduced to an insignificant amount if Integrity Staffing had added more security screeners or had staggered the end time of employee shifts.

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