U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Amazon Must Pay Some Workers for Security Screenings

When leaving work for the day, most workers don't have to worry about security screenings to make sure they didn't steal something. However, for Amazon warehouse workers, not only are they required to undergo security screenings before being allowed to leave, those screenings are unpaid.

What's worse, due to the large number of warehouse employees, there are often long lines that can take over 20 minutes to get through. And as you might have already known, a putative class action was filed, and there is multidistrict federal litigation ongoing over this issue. Most recently, the Sixth Circuit opined that workers in Nevada were entitled to compensation for these security checks, while workers in Arizona were not.

FLSA Says No, but State Says Yes

The matter had already been before SCOTUS in the context of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Court ruled that the FLSA didn't require the workers be paid. But, as the Sixth Circuit explained, the cases before it were making claims under their respective state labor laws, and not the FLSA anymore.

While under each state's laws, the Sixth Circuit did find that Amazon, or Integrity Staffing (the company Amazon effectively uses as a shell to staff its warehouses), should be paying the employees for the time wasted in the security check lines, it nevertheless upheld the dismissal against the Arizona claimants.

The Nevada claimants' case has been remanded to the district court.

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