Supreme Court Rules Against Amazon Workers
The Supreme Court today held that Amazon.com warehouse workers need not be paid for the time they spend going through the company’s mandatory security checks. The court reversed a lower court ruling for the workers, who claimed that they spent up to 25 minutes waiting to go through security lines so that Amazon could ensure they were not stealing products. Justice Clarence Thomas authored the unanimous opinion, which held that federal law requires that workers be paid for activities before and after their shifts only when the activities are “integral and indispensable” to the job they are hired to perform.
The good news for workers is that the decision did not radically alter existing law for those individuals that should be compensated. For example, in previous cases, the court has identified activities that qualify as integral and indispensable to a worker’s duties such as battery-plant employees who spend showering and changing. This time is compensable because of the toxic chemicals in the plant. The court also noted that meatpacking workers should be paid for sharpening knives because dull knives would make them less effective and affect the appearance of the product. To read the Supreme Court’s decision, click here.
If you or someone you know has not been paid for performing pre-shift or post-shift work that is integral and indispensable for work, such as putting on or taking off safety equipment off the clock, contact employment lawyer Alejandro Caffarelli at Caffarelli & Associates, Ltd.