U.S. Supreme Court Rules on FLSA Matter


12/21/2014 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)

The United States Supreme Court recently held that employers are not required by the Fair Labor Standards Act to compensate employees for time spent waiting for and undergoing security screenings. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, __ U.S. __, Dec. 9, 2014, available at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-433_5h26.pdf.

The employees retrieved products from warehouse shelves and packaged them. At the end of a shift, each employee spent approximately 25 minutes of uncompensated time waiting to undergo and then undergoing security screenings. The employees brought FLSA claims. The trial court dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the employer must compensate the employees for this time because the security screenings were necessary and done for the employer’s benefit.

The Court reversed. The FLSA does not require an employer to compensate an employee for work-related activities that are preliminary to or postliminary to an employee’s principal activities. Here, the employees’ principal activities were to retrieve and package products. The security screenings were not intrinsic to those principal activities because the security screenings could have been eliminated without impairing the employees’ ability to complete their work. Accordingly, the security screenings were noncompensable postliminary activities.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment lawyer about the FLSA, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705.

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