Amazon Warehouse Overtime Claim Goes To Supreme Court

Amazon Warehouse Overtime Claim Goes To Supreme Court

SEATTLE — Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc. continues to fight the class action overtime pay lawsuits brought by its Amazon warehouse employees. The ongoing legal battle centers around whether or not Amazon’s mandatory security screenings should be considered compensable and count towards “hours worked” and overtime. The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the warehouse employees. Integrity Staffing is now asking the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court’s decision. The Supreme Court’s decision will likely have a significant impact on current and future employee security screening-related overtime claims.

The Security Screening

Integrity Staffing provided employees for Amazon’s warehouses. While working at Amazon’s warehouses, the warehouse employees claim they spent a significant amount of time waiting in security screening lines before breaks and after they had clocked out at the end of their shifts. Employees claim during the busy holiday seasons the wait could be as long as 25 minutes each day. The employees claim they should be compensated for their time since the screenings were mandatory and solely for the benefit of their employer. The purpose of the screening was to reduce and prevent theft.

Integrity Staffing has argued that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not cover time spent in security screening lines because of the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947. Integrity Staffing believes waiting in line for security screenings is similar to waiting in line to clock in or out and, therefore, the time is not covered under the FLSA. The U.S. solicitor general recently agreed with Integrity Staffing stating that security searches are generally noncompensable and the security screenings in this case are no different.

Portal-to-Portal Act

The Portal-to-Portal Act is the reason employers are not required to pay employees for their time traveling to and from work or for waiting in line to clock in or out. The act exempts employers for employee activities before and after their shifts that are not integral to their principal work activity. The term “integral” is not always easily defined. For instance, changing into a regular work uniform at work is not integral because, in theory, the employee could do so before arriving; however, changing into an anti-static protective suit for work on sensitive electronics would be integral. In both situations, the employee is changing clothes to meet employer requirements and for the employer’s benefit, but only one could be seen as integral to the employee’s principal activity. The Supreme Court must now determine if post-shift security screening is integral to the principal activity of employees working with company products or just a routine search.

If you believe your employer has failed to pay you for all of the time you worked, contact our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers today at (855) 754-2795 to discuss your situation. Or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page and our experienced legal team will evaluate your case. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.

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