Earlier this year, the Ninth Circuit heard the case of Busk, et al. v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc.. The claims were brought by former employees who were subjected to security screenings by the company to curb employee theft of retail merchandise at Amazon.com warehouses. During these screenings, which occurred at the end of every shift, employees waited up to 25 minutes to be searched; removed their wallets, keys, and belts; and passed through metal detectors.
Under the Portal-to-Portal Act, preliminary and postliminary work activities are still compensable if they are “integral and indispensable” to an employee’s principal activities. To be “integral and indispensable,” an activity must be (1) necessary to the principal work performed and (2) done for the benefit of the employer.
Distinguishing the Busk case from other cases concerning mandatory security screenings for safety reasons, the Ninth Circuit found that the Plaintiffs’ complaint sufficiently alleged that Integrity required the screening solely to prevent employee theft, a concern that stemmed from the nature of the employees’ work and was done specifically the employer’s benefit.
Unfortunately, other employees, at Amazon.com warehouses and elsewhere, have to deal with similar loss prevention security screenings for which they should be receiving compensation. If you are one of these employees, and you’d like to have your potential case evaluated, please contact us for a free consultation.