This week, a federal judicial panel consolidated five cases against Amazon.com in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The workers allege that Amazon.com and various staffing agencies have violated state and federal wage and hour laws by requiring workers to spend up to 20 minutes passing through security checkpoints at the end of their shifts – after they clock out.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation found that the cases are sufficiently similar and involve common issues that justify managing the actions in a single venue. Further, Amazon.com estimates that hundreds of thousand of hourly worked are likely involved, which could expand the litigation exponentially.
The defendants in at least one of the cases have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of an earlier decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in which the court held that the defendants’ post-shift screenings were compensable under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because they were required of the plaintiffs and were for the defendants benefit in preventing employee theft. A ruling is expected soon as to whether the Supreme Court will grant certiorari and agree to review the appellate court’s decision.
If you suspect that your employer is withholding pay or improperly reducing your compensation, know that federal and state laws are in place to protect you. Please call an attorney in Sommers Schwartz’s Wage & Hour Litigation Group today to discuss your situation and learn how we can help.