Thank you to those who reached out to help with this investigation. The attorneys have spoken to enough warehouse workers, and the investigation has now been closed.
If you have any questions about your legal rights in your specific situation, we encourage you to speak with an attorney in your area. They typically offer free initial consultations and would be able to show you what options you have going forward. We cover finding and researching class action attorneys on this page.
For general information on your rights when it comes to working off the clock, the U.S. Department of Labor has a list of resources available on its website. You can find a list of open investigations here.
At A Glance
This Alert Affects:
Anyone who works or worked in a warehouse packaging goods for shipment and was not paid for time spent in security screenings.
What’s Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether lawsuits can be filed on behalf of warehouse workers who weren’t paid for time spent in security checks. Some states have enacted laws requiring that this time be paid.
Which States Require Pay for Security Checks?
California, Washington, New Jersey, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org would like to speak with current and former warehouse workers who were not paid for time spent in security checks.
They’re looking into whether certain major online retailers are violating state wage laws regarding pre- and post-shift security screenings and are interested in speaking to workers in the following states:
If you worked in a warehouse packaging goods for shipment in any of these states and were not paid for time spent going through security checks, you may be owed money from your employer.
Should I Be Paid for Security Checks?
The short answer is that it depends.
While federal law does not guarantee that all post- and pre-shift work is compensable, several states have enacted laws that provide protection above and beyond what’s available under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Specifically, attorneys working with ClassAction.org believe that in the states listed above, hourly workers should be paid for work-related tasks carried out before and after their shifts – including security screenings – regardless of whether they are “clocked in.”
How Could a Class Action Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit could help workers recover the money they should have been paid – but weren’t – for time spent in security checks. Furthermore, if a worker’s security check time pushes their total weekly hours beyond 40, they could also be owed time-and-a-half pay in the form of unpaid overtime wages.
For instance, in May 2020, workers in Amazon’s California warehouses reached a multi-million dollar settlement with the online retailer to resolve a lawsuit alleging they were illegally deprived of pay for time spent in security screenings. More than $7 million was made available to workers covered by the lawsuit. (Every case is different, however, and results cannot be guaranteed.)
A successful case could also require a company to change the way it pays its employees to ensure the business is complying with both federal and state law.
Can I Be Fired for Speaking Up?
Both federal and state laws provide protection for employees who speak up about unfair or illegal wage practices. Specifically, it is illegal for your employer to fire, demote or otherwise retaliate against you just because you exercised your legal rights.