On December 9, the Supreme Court held that hourly workers in Amazon warehouses need not be compensated for the time they spent waiting to undergo security screening at the end of their shifts. The case, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, is the Court’s most recent opinion on the issue of compensatory time under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Integrity Staffing Solutions provides staffing for Amazon warehouses nationwide. Hourly warehouse workers employed by Integrity retrieve products and package them for delivery to Amazon customers. Integrity required its employees to undergo a security screening before leaving the warehouse at the end of each day. During the screening, employees’ belongings were scrutinized. The employees alleged that they were entitled to compensation for the 25 minutes they spent waiting for and undergoing the screening each day.
Reversing the Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court held that “an activity is integral and indispensable to the principal activities that an employee is employed to perform – and thus compensable under the FLSA – if it is an intrinsic element of those activities and one with which the employee cannot dispense if he is to perform his principal activities. . . .[T]he employee’s time spent waiting to undergo and undergoing . . . screenings does not meet these criteria….”
This is the Court’s most recent opinion interpreting activities that are preliminary or postliminary to the job’s principal activities.
Justice Thomas delivered the unanimous opinion.