Are Workers Entitled To Pay For Time Spent Waiting To Go Through Security Checkpoints At Work?

March 7, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case filed by Nevada workers alleging FLSA violations. In Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, workers who spent time filling Amazon.com orders, have alleged that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that they be compensated for time spent “emptying their pockets and passing through metal detectors before exiting the warehouse after their work shifts were over.”

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that workers be compensated for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any work week. Often disputes arise when workers are required to put in additional “off-the-clock” time and whether workers should be paid for this time becomes the subject of litigation. If you have questions about your pay, or believe that you have not been paid all the compensation you are entitled to, we urge you to consult with an experienced Georgia wage and hour attorney right away.

Here, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that requiring employees to submit to post-shift security screenings was solely for the employers benefit and as a result, the employees may be entitled to pay for the up to 25 minutes the workers had to wait to proceed through the security checkpoint.

The lower court had ruled that the workers were not entitled to pay, but the 9th Circuit disagreed. Since the ruling, several lawsuits have been filed across the country by workers who have been denied pay for the time spent in security screenings.

One of the crucial issues involves whether the requirement to participate in security screenings is the same or different from other actions which have been determined to be non-compensable such as waiting to punch in or out of work, walking from a parking lot to the workplace or waiting to pick up protective gear prior to donning it for a work shift. Representatives of the workers explain that security screenings are not “one size fits all.” Rather, whether a security screening should be considered compensable depends on the particular facts of a case, and whether the time spent is actually “integral and indispensable” to their primary work activities.

As Atlanta wage and hour attorneys dedicated to ensuring that workers receive all the pay they deserve, we will be following this case closely. For more information or if you have any wage and hour questions, please contact the skilled Georgia wage and hour attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.