In the battle between employers and workers seeking better compensation, score one for the bosses. In a 9-0 ruling handed down earlier today, the Supreme Court decided that companies do not have to pay employees for the time they spend undergoing security checks at the end of their shifts.
The case, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc v. Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro, concerned a warehouse contractor for Amazon. Employees at the warehouse petitioned the Court to be paid for the time they spend going through a theft-prevention security screening at the end of the workday—up to half an hour a day, according to Reuters. Wrote Justice Clarence Thomas, security screenings do not fall under a “principal activity” of the workers’ jobs under the Fair Labor Standards Act and therefore are “noncompensable postliminary activities”–that is to say, employers don’t have to pay you for them.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had previously found that the screenings were integral parts of the warehousing job because they were done for the benefit of the employer, a decision that the Supreme Court’s ruling reverses. Employees sued Integrity Staffing Solutions initially for back pay and overtime. Businesses facing similar suits, including CVS and Apple, have to be smiling today.