Home News Are Work-Required Security Screenings on the Clock, Or Not? – JD Supra

Are Work-Required Security Screenings on the Clock, Or Not? – JD Supra

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In a recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling, Oregon’s wage and hour laws mirror the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and provide We found that we did not give our employees a greater right to compensation. As a result, courts have ruled that if screening is an “essential and essential” part of the employee’s primary activity, or if security screening is compensable as part of the employee’s primary activity, the employer’s premises concluded that the time spent waiting and undergoing mandatory security screening within was compensable. A matter of contract, custom, or practice.

facts of the case

Lindsey Buero worked for Amazon out of a warehouse in Troutdale, Oregon. Under Oregon law, she filed a wages and hours class action lawsuit against Amazon to recover wages for the time she and other employees spent on her Amazon’s mandatory security screening process.

To prevent theft, Amazon stored the items in a secure location in its warehouse. When employees left the secure area at the end of their shift, they were required to leave before proceeding to a security screening. In the warehouse he had nine screening lanes. Employees without metal or bags could use one of the five express lanes where employees could walk through metal detectors. However, employees who brought bags into security areas had to use one of two lanes, go through metal detectors, and put the bags on a conveyor belt for X-ray inspection. . If an employee activates a metal detector in either lane, a security guard with a handheld metal detector will check the employee’s merchandise. After completing security screening, employees can voluntarily remain in the warehouse or leave the facility. Since the inspection procedure took place after the employee had left work for the day, the employee was not compensated for the waiting time and time spent in the security inspection.

Amazon argued that time spent in security screening was not compensated under Oregon law and that Oregon’s wage and hour laws are subject to federal law. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit granted the following questions to the Oregon Supreme Court: Is Oregon law reimbursable for the time an employee spends waiting or undergoing mandatory security screenings on her employer’s premises?

Because the case required the court to determine whether Oregon law reflected federal law, the court analyzed the evolution of state and federal wage and hour laws. Under federal law (FLSA as amended by the Portal to Portal Act), time spent by an employee on activities before or after a work shift is not covered. (2) Compensable as a matter of contract, custom or practice; Applying this general rule, the United States Supreme Court has previously held in similar cases that the time spent waiting for or undergoing the security inspection at issue in the case It was determined that compensation was not possible because it was not necessary and indispensable for the main activity.

Based on the text, context, and history of rulemaking, the Oregon Supreme Court ultimately ruled that administrative regulations promulgated by the Office of Labor and Industry, specifically OAR 839-020-0043, tracked down federal law, as well. To be considered working hours only if the preparatory and final activities are an integral and integral part of the principal activity in which the employee is employed, or are required by contract, custom or practice. Further, the Oregon Supreme Court has held that this rule is consistent with ORS 653.010 (11). For purposes of ORS 653.010 (11), “hours worked” includes both hours worked and hours of permitted attendance.

In summary, the court concluded that the Oregon law defining “work hours” and the administrative rule regarding the compensability of work hours spent on pre- and post-shift activities mirror federal law. Therefore, whether time awaiting and undergoing a mandatory security inspection on an employer’s premises is covered under Oregon law depends on whether the inspection is (1) essential and essential to the employee’s primary activity. It depends on whether it is part or (2) covered as a problem. contract, customer, or practice, as well as federal law.

In determining whether an employee’s pre- or post-shift activities are compensated under state law, the Oregon Supreme Court declined to extend the broader state-specific test, instead It paved the way for state courts to rely on similar decisions under the FLSA.

Points to Employers

While the case did not conclusively determine whether time spent during security inspections could actually be compensated, employers wishing to avoid costly wage or hour bills should It is also a reminder that we need to pay attention to these issues. It’s also a good time to make sure your employees get paid for their tasks. Finally, employers should promptly consult competent legal counsel to assess and implement any necessary adjustments to compensation policies and to ensure that managers are trained on the new requirements.

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