A proposed class action claims Amazon.com, Inc. has failed to pay Pennsylvania warehouse workers for time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings as required under the state’s wage and hour law.
Per the nine-page lawsuit, Amazon has required hourly employees at its fulfillment centers to undergo security screenings at the beginning of their unpaid meal breaks and at the end of each shift.
The case claims Amazon relied on a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk 574 U.S. 27 (2014) to support its call to not to compensate workers for time spent waiting in line for security screenings. In that case, the court ruled that such time was not compensable under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The plaintiff argues, however, that although the FLSA may not require employers to compensate workers for time spent waiting for and undergoing security screenings, Pennsylvania law does. According to the complaint, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held in Heimbach v. Amazon.com, Inc. that the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, unlike the FLSA, requires companies to compensate employees for all “time during which an employee is required by the employer to be on the premises of the employer,” including for security screenings.
The plaintiff, who the suit says worked at Amazon’s Tatamy, Pennsylvania fulfillment center between August 2019 and February 2020, looks to represent all warehouse workers currently or formerly employed at any Pennsylvania fulfillment center other than the Breinigsville location, which the Heimbach case seeks to cover.
Initially filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, the lawsuit was removed to Pennsylvania’s Eastern District Court on November 12.
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