Wage & Hour Investigation On Behalf Of Warehouse Workers In Pennsylvania Who Have Not Been Paid For Spending Time In Security Screenings Before Or After A Work Shift
If you have been a Warehouse Worker employed in Pennsylvania who has been required to spend time going through security screenings before or after your work shift, you may have a claim for unpaid wages for “off-the-clock” time going through security screenings required by your employer.
In regards to warehouse workers, employees should be aware that Amazon was recently ordered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to pay its warehouse workers for time spent in security screenings.
Workers at Amazon Fulfillment Centers in Pennsylvania are required to go through security screenings after they clock out at the end of the workday. This is done as a precautionary measure by the company to minimize losses due to employee theft. Such security screenings are solely done for the benefit of the company. Despite the extensive amount of time spent in security screenings, Amazon never paid their employees for this time. But in 2013, two Amazon employees at the company’s Breinigsville, PA warehouse filed a class action lawsuit seeking compensation for the time they spent waiting in line to have their bags searched.
Eventually, the class action reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled that this practice violates the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. Specifically, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined that under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, the phrase “hours worked” includes “any time when an employee is required by the employer to be on the premises of the employer.” Further, there is no exception for “de minimis” amounts of time under the Act.
The Court’s holding in the Amazon case that time spent in security checks is compensable is not only important for Amazon employees in Pennsylvania, it also is significant for any worker in Pennsylvania who has been required by his or her employer to spend time off-the-clock going through security screenings.