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Amazon Warehouse Worker Case Accepted by Supreme Court

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Workers At An Amazon.com Inc. Fulfillment Center
The high court case centers on the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires compensation for pre- and post-shift activities that are “integral and indispensable” to an employee’s principal activities. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will use a case involving workers at Amazon.com Inc. warehouses to consider whether companies must pay employees for time spent undergoing security searches.

The justices today agreed to review a federal appeals court decision that allowed a lawsuit over security lines designed to prevent employee theft at Amazon warehouses in Nevada. The suit was filed by former employees of Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc., which provides temporary workers for Amazon.

Corporate groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urged the court to take up the appeal, saying the issue has widespread significance. Similar claims are being pressed directly against Amazon and against CVS Pharmacy Inc. and Apple Inc.

The employees, Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro, said workers had to spend as much as 25 minutes after their shifts ended to pass through metal detectors.

The high court case centers on the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires compensation for pre- and post-shift activities that are “integral and indispensable” to an employee’s principal activities.

In January, ruling on a different part of that law, the high court said companies don’t have to pay workers for time spent putting on and taking off safety gear if a collective bargaining agreement precludes compensation.

The new case is Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, 13-433.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick Oster at poster@bloomberg.net

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