Amazon.com Doesn’t Want to Pay Wages for Its Employees Security Screening Time

NOTE: Article was updated on December 12th, 2014.

Amazon.com is in the news for their questionable security screening process. To cut down on theft, the company makes temp workers and full time employees pass through security checkpoints after the end of their shifts and before their unpaid breaks. The plaintiffs, two employees of Integrity Staffing Solutions (a temp agency that hires workers for Amazon warehouses) say that if Amazon hired more inspectors, they could cut down the time it takes to go through the checkpoints. Companies that have to pay for their employees’ time, are less likely to waste it. Amazon.com and Integrity Staffing Solutions, however, claim that workers shouldn’t be paid for “not committing a crime.”

This isn’t the first time that employees have made a fuss about the time spent going through security. In 2010, two former employees of Integrity Staffing Solutions, sued the company for back pay. Because the security checks are required by Amazon, the plaintiffs argued that they should be paid for the time spent waiting in the security line. 

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law, workers don’t have to be paid for time spent commuting to and from work. A butcher, however, has to be paid for time spent sharpening his knives. A worker at a battery plant has to be paid to shower after a shift because of the potential exposure to harmful chemicals. 

Do you agree that mandatory security check time–just like any mandatory time an employer requires–must be paid to employees?   

The outcome of this lawsuit could affect many distribution companies throughout the country who share similar security standards. 

UPDATE: According to this article, the US Supreme Court ruled that Amazon.com workers aren’t entitled to receive payments for the time they spend waiting in line during mandatory security screenings.

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