Should I Be Paid for Being at Work, Off the Clock?

Has your employer ever searched your bags when you left work without paying you for the time you spent being checked? Photo of earnings statement

If it has, it may be violating labor laws. Federal and state laws in California require that certain employees be paid overtime for each hour worked over 40 per week. If you are spending additional time at work waiting in screening lines, you may want to contact our labor attorneys about investigating your case. In certain circumstances, you may be entitled to back pay and/or overtime wages.

Unfortunately, last year, the US Supreme Court ruled in a case involving a staffing company that security screenings are not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, in certain cases, like the one below, labor attorneys have begun to ask courts to consider the screenings an act of work, as they are usually conducted for the employer’s benefit.

In the Supreme Court case, the court ruled that the screenings were a part of egress, similar to clocking into a shift or changing clothes, with no opinion being given about whether or not the screenings actually benefit employers. If an hourly worker is asked to perform a task that benefits an employer in any capacity that does not involve egress, he or she should be compensated for it.

Court Approves Apple Bag Check Class Action Lawsuit

According to, the US District Court for the Northeastern District of California ruled recently that a lawsuit brought forward against Apple over bag searches could move forward as a class action claim. The website reported that former employees say Apple failed to compensate them for time taken to have their bags searched when leaving work.

The court ruling could allow an estimated 12,400 former and current employees who worked at one of Apple’s 52 California stores since July 25, 2009 to join the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims some workers were required to have their bags searched prior to leaving each day to ensure that nothing was stolen from the store. Those who feel like they were performing work for the employer may be able to join the lawsuit.

Can a Los Angeles Employment Attorney Help Me With a Wage or Overtime Issue?

It will be interesting to see how this case moves forward as it could have an impact on California labor law. If you have questions about class action litigation concerning back wages or overtime, speak to our Los Angeles labor attorneys. These manners can become extremely confusing—you will want to make sure that you receive expert advice.

You can contact us by using the request form or phone number located on this page.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys