Time Spent In Security Screenings Does Not Have To Be Compensated – The U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Integrity Staffing v. Busk
The question of when an employee’s compensable work for the day begins and ends is one which can be more complicated than it seems at first glance. Does an employee who checks email before driving to work have to be compensated for that time? Will an employer have to pay an employee for the time it takes to park in a remote lot and take a shuttle bus to work? The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on this subject in its recent decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433 (December 9, 2014), where it ruled unanimously that employees did not have to be paid for the time they spent waiting to undergo and then undergoing security screenings before leaving the workplace each day. In this class action case, the employees were hourly workers who worked in two different warehouses. Their duties involved retrieving products from shelves and packaging the products for delivery to Amazon customers, and at the end of the day, were required to undergo a security screening which included removing their wallets, keys and belts, and going through a metal detector. The employees complained that they were forced to spend up to twenty-five minutes a day in this screening process, and argued that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) they should be compensated for this time.