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Employees Sue Amazon Over Unpaid Security Searches

Attorneys say Amazon owes $100 million in back pay and penalties for 100,000 employees.

Employees Sue Amazon Over Unpaid Security Searches

[Image: Flickr user William Christiansen]

Amazon employees have slapped the online retailer with class-action lawsuits over unpaid security searches before, during, and after their shifts.

The suits, filed in Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, claim employees spend upwards of 25 minutes to be screened by metal detectors to prevent merchandise theft. With 30-minute lunch breaks, workers complain they have little time to eat after enduring the mandatory searches. Attorneys representing employees who work in Amazon's fulfillment centers say the company owes 100,000 workers more than $100 million in back wages and penalties, which breaks down to $1,000 per person.

"Because the Amazon employees are required by the company, and for the company’s benefit, to go through the security process… the employees need to get paid for that time," Peter Winebrake, a lawyer involved in the Pennsylvania and Tennessee cases, told the Daily Mail.

Apple was slapped with a similar suit over the summer. Two former employees said the company's bag-search policy resulted in $1,400 to $1,500 in uncompensated wages and overtime for each worker annually.