We’ve written at least twice now on class actions arising out of time spent by employees going through security lines, primarily at the end of their shifts. The question is whether and when such time might be compensable under the Portal-to-Portal Act. One of the critical issues is whether the security is being undertaken primarily for the benefit of the employer.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court granted certiorari on the first of these cases, in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, Case No. 13-433 (U.S. S. Ct., Mar. 3, 2014). This case will likely not only shed light on the precise issue of time spent in security lines, but also on a host of issues regarding compensable time. The Court’s ultimate ruling may clarify the substantive law, but will also impact class litigation in this context depending on the test it employs and the degree to which it ultimately dictates the need for an individualized inquiry.
The Bottom Line: The Supreme Court continues to express interest in cases relating to the definition of time worked under the FLSA and has accepted certiorari in a case that may shed further light on the issue.