The United States Supreme Court issued a 9-0 opinion in a FLSA lawsuit, Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk. We discussed the case and its implications in a previous blog post here. This decision also has potentially major ramifications on a much talked about class action lawsuit filed against Apple that we discussed here. In each of these cases the question was whether standing in line to go through an employer mandated security screening was “work” and therefore compensable.

The Supreme Court clearly said it is not: “The security screenings at issue here are non-compensable post-liminary activities.” In reaching its conclusion the ruling concluded that because the screenings were not an “intrinsic element” of the employee’s principal activity (e.g., retrieving products for Amazon and packaging them for shipment) and was not an activity the employee needed to complete to perform the principle activity it was not “integral and indispensable” to the job. The opinion was also critical of the lower court’s standard that focused on whether the employer required the activity. In rejecting that standard, the Supreme Court made it clear that the test is directly related to the productive work “the employee is employed to perform.”

This case provides a clear standard that must be met going forward when employees seek to be paid for activities at the beginning and end of the work day.

We hold that an activity is integral and indispensable to the principal activities that an employee is employed to perform—and thus compensable under the FLSA—if it is an intrinsic element of those activities and one with which the employee cannot dispense if he is to perform his principal activities.

When employees are working beyond the hours for which they are paid by their employers, questions about unpaid overtime arise under the FLSA. These questions can be complicated. If you are working more hours than you are getting paid, you should consult with an employment lawyer. To discuss your particular situation contact the employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff today.