Amazon workers take case to the Supreme Court
Workers at Amazon.com warehouses know the drill. After finishing their shifts, they clock out and then wait on line for a security screening that assures they aren’t taking any of the company’s inventory with them. The process can take nearly 30 minutes and workers are not compensated for the wait.
Workers who go through this process see it as part of their workday and, as such, argue they should be getting paid for the time. The third-party vendors who staff Amazon’s warehouses disagree. That is the crux of a lawsuit brought against Integrity Staffing Solutions, an Amazon staffing supplier, in 2010 under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Tomorrow, justices will listen to arguments from the opposing sides.
There is a lot riding on this case. For one, Amazon and the staffing agencies it works with could be on the line for more than $100 million if the case is lost. The ruling might also affect how employers with similar practices schedule and pay for workers’ time going ahead.
A decision favoring the employers could throw open the gates for businesses to define other tasks that employees need to complete off the clock.
Amazon is not the only retailer facing legal challenges as to tasks they can expect workers to perform without pay. According to reports, similar cases have been brought against Apple, CVS, J.C. Penney, Ross Stores, TJX Cos. and others.
- Amazon Workers Take Security-Line Woes to Supreme Court – Bloomberg News
- U.S. High Court To Hear Amazon Warehouse Workers’ Case Over Security Screenings – KPLU News
- High court to hear another far-reaching wage case – The Kansas City Star
Are there workday tasks that employers should be able to ask hourly workers to perform without compensation? How would you deal with the security issue and worker pay if you were running a retail facility?