This week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case in which Amazon warehouse workers have sued for wage theft.
At the heart of the appeal is Amazon’s practice of requiring workers to submit to security checks upon leaving the job site in order to reduce warehouse theft. The problem is that Amazon makes the workers punch out before undergoing the security check, which they claim is uncompensated time. The security checks are random and have nothing to do with suspicions of theft by any individual worker.
In an earlier appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the workers’ right to pursue their case under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the statute that requires overtime pay. Amazon then appealed to the Supreme Court.
Sommers Schwartz partner Jason J. Thompson will be in attendance on Wednesday’s oral argument. Said Mr. Thompson, “It will be interesting to see whether the Justices stay focused on whether the workers’ time standing in security check lines is primarily benefiting the employer, and thus compensable time, or if they get lost in the increased labor costs that employers will incur by having to pay the workers.”
Sommers Schwartz is among the law firms representing Amazon warehouse workers in the cases. The Amazon cases were all consolidated under 28 U.S.C. §1407 as In re: Amazon Fulfillment Center Wage and Hour Litigation (MDL 2504) pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.