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Employees not entitled to compensation for time spent at security screenings

December 11, 2014

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that time spent by employees in employer mandated security screenings is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The decisive issue in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk was whether anti-theft security screening at the end of employees’ shifts, which could last up to 25 minutes, was “integral and indispensable” to the employees’ duties as warehouse fulfillment  workers. The Court held this time was noncompensable because the security screenings were not “the principal activity or activities” the employees were hired to perform, nor were the screenings “integral and indispensable” to the employees’ principal activity. The employees were hired to package items for delivery, the Court said, not “to undergo security screenings.” The fact that these screenings were required by the employer did not change the result—the integral and indispensable test is tied to the productive work that the employees are employed to perform, not whether the employer required a particular activity.

Honigman will continue to monitor developments in this area. If you have any questions about the Integrity Staffing decision or would like to review your preliminary and postliminary compensation practices, please contact one of Honigman’s Labor and Employment attorneys.