Should My Employer Pay Me for Security Screenings?

Updating a story we brought you earlier this year, the Supreme Court has ruled that Amazon and other companies that employ warehouse workers do not have to pay them for time spent in security checks. Photo of earnings statement

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously recently that the companies do not have to pay employees for security screenings, reversing a lower court ruling saying the screenings were part of an employee’s job, thus making them eligible for pay. Many labor lawyers are disappointed in the ruling, saying it sets bad precedent for workers.

The ruling will allow companies like CVS and Apple, which are facing similar lawsuits over back wages for security checks, to seek relief. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that the security checks are not an integral part of an employee’s job.

According to CNET, federal law exempts employers from paying for work-related activities that happen before or after work, like waiting to punch a time clock.

The workers involved in the lawsuit claimed that to do their jobs, they were forced to submit to lengthy, unpaid security screenings, thus shortening the pay they were entitled to. The screenings at Amazon were reportedly performed at the end of every shift, as workers were forced to clock out and wait in lines to be searched for possible stolen items.

Some of the employees claimed that the security checks could last for up to 25 minutes each day.

I Think My Employer Owes Me Back Wages

As this case shows, employee disputes, including wage claims, can be incredibly complex. While many people are not happy with the Supreme Court decision, if you feel like your employer owes you money, you should speak to our attorneys.

Remember, most unpaid wages are the result of improperly calculated overtime or minimum wage violations. Make sure you receive all of the money you are due. We offer free consultations and can evaluate the strengths of a potential case to determine what legal remedies, if any, exist.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys

Did You Know? In many instances, federal laws require that employees are paid for “standing” and/or “travel time.”