December 10, 2014
On December 9th, the Supreme Court unanimously held that time spent by hourly warehouse workers waiting for and undergoing mandatory security screenings before leaving the warehouse is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The case is Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk.

The Court explained that the security screenings at issue (during which the employees remove their wallets, keys, and belts and then pass through metal detectors) were non-compensable activities because a screening is neither a principal activity the employees were employed to perform, nor “integral and indispensable” to the employees’ principal activities. Rather, the employees’ principal activities are the retrieval of inventory from warehouse shelves and the packaging of those products for shipment. The Court determined that the security screening is not an intrinsic, essential element of the employees’ retrieval and packaging duties, and even if the company were to omit security screenings, it would not prevent or impede the employees’ ability to perform these principal activities.

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