Amazon’s influence over the American economy has skyrocketed in recent years. The Seattle-based company is now the world’s largest online retailer, expanding from its initial business of an Internet book store into its new model of an Internet everything store.
A group of former temporary employees at Amazon contractor Integrity Staffing Solutions recently filed suit against the company, claiming that they should have been compensated for their time at work spent passing through several security checks. The security checks took place at Amazon’s warehouses in Nevada, which are equipped with several anti-theft features that resulted in the workers’ lengthy delays.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the workers’ case after it progressed through the lower courts. The workers are claiming that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that they be compensated for their time waiting during the security screenings. However, there is no specific law that determines whether security checks are compensable or not.
According to the Hartford Courant, Integrity Staffing believes security checks are simply part of the non-paying elements of a job.
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“Security screenings are indistinguishable from many other tasks that have been found non-compensable under the FLSA, such as waiting to punch in and out on the time clock, walking from the parking lot to the work place, waiting to pick up a paycheck, or waiting to pick up protective gear before donning it for a work shift,” Integrity wrote in its court statement.
If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the former Integrity employees favor, it should set a widespread precedent for how security checks are treated at various jobs throughout the country.