Under federal law, employees do not have to be paid for time spent going through employer mandated security screenings designed to prevent employee theft.
In the recent case of Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, the plaintiff’s employees were subject to a security screening process at the end of each shift to ensure that they had not stolen any items from the warehouse in which they worked. During the screening process, employees had to wait in line and then remove items such as wallets, keys, and belts from their persons and pass through metal detectors.
The employees argued that the approximately twenty-five minutes a day spent in the security screening was compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The United States Supreme Court unanimously rejected the employees’ argument, finding that the time was not “integral and indispensable” to the employees’ jobs.
Employers who subject their employees to security checks, such as bag or coat checks, should take note of this decision. The full text of the decision can be found at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-433_5h26.pdf.