Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court handed a considerable win to employers with the unanimous decision that businesses are not required to pay workers for time spent waiting for mandatory security checks.
In Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, the Ninth Circuit had previously ruled that employees were entitled to compensation for such time because it was “mandatory.” The court rejected the Ninth’s Circuit’s “mandatory” reasoning, and determined that the proper test under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is whether the activity in question is an “integral and indispensable part of the principal activities for which covered workmen are employed.”
The Court based its decision on language in the Portal-to-Portal Act, which exempts employers from FLSA liability for claims based on “activities which are preliminary to or postliminary to” the performance of the “principal activities” of an employee’s job. As defined by the Act, the term “principal activities” includes activities that are “integral and indispensable” to an employee’s position.
The decision is a big win for employers, especially those whose workplaces require security screenings.