Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2014

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Court says warehouse workers must be paid for time in security checks

CARSON CITY — A federal appeals court has ruled that warehouse workers in Las Vegas and Fernley should be paid for time they spend going through security checks at the end of their shifts.

But the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday the employees were not entitled to pay for 10 minutes spent walking to and from lunch.

Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro sued for themselves and other workers at Integrity Staffing Solutions, which has warehouses in the two cities that fill orders placed by Amazon.com customers.

At the end of their shifts, the workers alleged, they had to wait 25 minutes to be searched and pass through metal detectors in an effort by the company to prevent theft.

Busk and Castro are hourly workers and maintained they should be compensated for the time spent in security clearance.

Federal Judge Roger Hunt of Las Vegas originally ruled against them.

But the appeals court, in an opinion by Judge Sidney Thomas, said the security check was done for the benefit of the company and workers “have stated a plausible claim for relief.”

The court, however, upheld Hunt’s ruling that the 10 minutes spent by workers going to and from the lunchroom should not be counted as work time. It said walking to lunch at the company’ cafeteria “is not a work duty.”

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