Amazon Workers Want To Be Paid For Waiting In Line

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It seems silly to me that this had to go all the way to the Supreme Court. There were dozens of way to remedy this situation before it got to this point.

Amazon.com (AMZN) warehouses are full of stuff people like. To cut down on theft, workers who box and ship it are required to pass through security checkpoints after their shifts, waiting in lines that can take almost 30 minutes to get through.
 

jojo69

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yeah, that sounds like bullshit

put the timeclock after the checkpoint
 

Ducman69

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Amazon workers are completely in the right here. Nothing wrong with security for loss prevention, but employees need to be on the clock if they aren't free to go.
 

nutzo

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Seems silly to have to result in a lawsuit, but Amazon is in the wrong on this.

If you are forced to wait in a security line for 30 minutes, for the convenience of your employer, then you should not be clocked out until you are through the line. If Amazon doesn't want to pay them for the time spent standing in line, then Amazon should do something to get rid of the line, such as add more security or stagger the start and stop times instead of having the entire shift leave at the same time.
 

jflail2

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yeah, that sounds like bullshit

put the timeclock after the checkpoint

Exactly. The solution is so simple it's mind boggling. Because there's nothing better for our Supreme Court to address................Ridiculous.
 

maverikv

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If you have to wait in the line then they have to pay you. Good luck amazon.
 

Domingow

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I remember working at BestBuy and had this exact same situation going on. Not sure if its still the case but there is / was that.
 

MrCaffeineX

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Seems silly to have to result in a lawsuit, but Amazon is in the wrong on this.

If you are forced to wait in a security line for 30 minutes, for the convenience of your employer, then you should not be clocked out until you are through the line. If Amazon doesn't want to pay them for the time spent standing in line, then Amazon should do something to get rid of the line, such as add more security or stagger the start and stop times instead of having the entire shift leave at the same time.

I think that was Steve's point: Amazon had innumerable options to solve the problem, so why couldn't they do it before the issue had to be brought to court? Unwillingness or lack of common sense on the part of management?
 

MrPatate

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It's a legit demand, I suppose Amazon didn't want to pay 2.5h/week/employe since it would cost more than the lost it tries to prevent. I've had those kind of check up (lunchbox) at some jobs and you would simply open it an leave right away, shouldn't take longer than 1-2 second per employe.
 

J Macker

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did you guys even read the article?

apparently not.

At issue is the scope of a 1947 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act that says employers don’t have to pay for time spent on work-related activities like getting to or from the office. Nine years later, the Supreme Court established in a pair of rulings that the key is whether the activity in question is “integral and indispensable” to the principal activities workers are paid to do. Butchers at a meatpacking plant, the court found, had to be paid for time spent sharpening their knives, and workers at a battery plant deserved compensation for time spent showering after work to wash off traces of sulfuric acid and lead. ...

Amazon wasn’t in the original complaint now before the Supreme Court. It has since been added to that suit, which has been consolidated with four similar lawsuits.

This is an interesting case
 

necrosis

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I actually worked at an Amazon warehouse years ago (Back when there were only 2 {Home office and Newark, DE).

We clocked in after going through when arriving and clocked out before security when leaving. Yeah it sucked. Back then we bitched about it when they moved the time clock to the secure area. No idea why its taken this long to do something about it.
 

bucketlist

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Integrity says it doesn’t owe the workers money because the screenings weren’t directly related to their jobs.
The security checks, the plaintiffs argued, were required by Integrity and therefore part of the job.

If the check are required by Integrity and Amazon, then yes it is part of the job.
 

McClintoc

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Employees aren't paid straight-up for their time. Just becuase they aren't at home, doesn't mean they are on the clock. They are paid to work and produce a product or service for the company. Waiting in a security line has nothing to do with producing said product or service, therefore, the company doesn't have to pay.
 

bucketlist

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It's a legit demand, I suppose Amazon didn't want to pay 2.5h/week/employe since it would cost more than the lost it tries to prevent. I've had those kind of check up (lunchbox) at some jobs and you would simply open it an leave right away, shouldn't take longer than 1-2 second per employe.

Probably TSA like grope-down with a full cavity using ribbed gloves for your pleasure.
 

bucketlist

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Edit:
Probably TSA like grope-downs with a full cavity search using ribbed gloves for your pleasure.
 

jojo69

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Employees aren't paid straight-up for their time. Just becuase they aren't at home, doesn't mean they are on the clock. They are paid to work and produce a product or service for the company. Waiting in a security line has nothing to do with producing said product or service, therefore, the company doesn't have to pay.

So where does that stop? what if the line were 3 hours...or 30 hours?
 

the-one1

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I remember reading about some nurses who sued to get paid for the time they were getting dressed into scrubs on premise. The place wouldn't let them dress at home. The nurses won.
 
D

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Employees aren't paid straight-up for their time. Just becuase they aren't at home, doesn't mean they are on the clock. They are paid to work and produce a product or service for the company. Waiting in a security line has nothing to do with producing said product or service, therefore, the company doesn't have to pay.

They are, since they have to go through the line in order to work. The very same moment its not their choice, its the companies's... they have to pay.

Its simple, pure 100% logic.
 

MrTroy03

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Employees aren't paid straight-up for their time. Just becuase they aren't at home, doesn't mean they are on the clock. They are paid to work and produce a product or service for the company. Waiting in a security line has nothing to do with producing said product or service, therefore, the company doesn't have to pay.

Unfortunately I think you are in the wrong here. Sure they don't have to pay for the time it takes to drive to the office or for you to put your coat in a locker before your shift. But if they REQUIRE a security check before you leave then they have to pay you for your time. Like the poster said above, if you are not free to go, you need to be paid. Period.

Hourly labor laws are strict unlike exempt salary employees. If you are an hourly janitor and get done with your cleaning duties and your boss says "Hey, I want to discuss your job duties before you leave", and you have to sit and wait for 15 minutes for your boss to come up to you, you are absolutely entitled to 15 minutes of pay because your employer is making you stay for work related activities. If you can't leave you get paid. It's simple. Amazing is just being cheap because its a lot of money that adds up quick with that many people.
 

MrTroy03

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So, in short, YES employees ARE paid straight up for their time. It's not a commission sales job where pay is related to effort and results. Of course if your results are bad they can let you go, but they still have to pay you for all time spent.
 

pothb

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I'm a bit surprised by that people support the people on this one.

I'm iffy on it. Yea, Amazon and Integrity should pay for keeping them there, but it's due to theft right? Someone fucked up, first, or so I would think.

But This lawsuit is way better than the one about the Cop that complained about putting on his uniform and won. Similar to the Nurses case, but I don't know if it was at home or at work. I think it was at home.... but he won, and I though that was BS.
 

Parja

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Employees aren't paid straight-up for their time. Just becuase they aren't at home, doesn't mean they are on the clock. They are paid to work and produce a product or service for the company. Waiting in a security line has nothing to do with producing said product or service, therefore, the company doesn't have to pay.

Then I would opt to not go through security and leave immediately. Since I'm on my own time, the company has no say what I do with that time. See how that works?
 

pothb

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Also, I'm not against the people either, I just see it from both sides.
 

Darunion

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I want to know, is this something agreed upon before employment? If it is, then the employees should stfu and get back to work, otherwise yes I would say companies should have to pay for time that is controlled by the employer.
 

hpglow

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I've been on construction sites that do the same for tool/copper scrap loss. One had a 45min pat-down and lunch box check line. In that case the state told them if they couldn't get us out the door in 15min we had to be compensated. We ended up getting back pay some time later and it was all OT because we were already working 60 to 70 hours a week. So I would assume Amazon got the same judgement and chose to appeal.

The stupid thing is staggering start and start times of your employees by 15 to 30 min usually fixes these issues, make three or four groups and stagger when they arrive and leave. Then the bottleneck at the turnstyles and leaving the parking lot is greatly reduced. By making everyone leave at once it encourages people to stop work early, rush to the time clock, and run to the checkout area. Because whoever gets there first doesn't wait 30 min its who takes their time and gives an honest days work that ends up waiting in that line longest.
 

HeadRusch

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I actually worked at an Amazon warehouse years ago (Back when there were only 2 {Home office and Newark, DE).

We clocked in after going through when arriving and clocked out before security when leaving. Yeah it sucked. Back then we bitched about it when they moved the time clock to the secure area. No idea why its taken this long to do something about it.

Amazon was probably figuring this argument would get buried in the legal system long enough for them to perfect those fully-automated warehouses they debuted a year or two ago......
 

maverikv

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I want to know, is this something agreed upon before employment? If it is, then the employees should stfu and get back to work, otherwise yes I would say companies should have to pay for time that is controlled by the employer.

Doesn't matter if they agreed if its illegal
 
D

Deleted member 222586

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I'm a bit surprised by that people support the people on this one.

I'm iffy on it. Yea, Amazon and Integrity should pay for keeping them there, but it's due to theft right? Someone fucked up, first, or so I would think.

But This lawsuit is way better than the one about the Cop that complained about putting on his uniform and won. Similar to the Nurses case, but I don't know if it was at home or at work. I think it was at home.... but he won, and I though that was BS.

So what? We are talking about 30 minutes... what if it were 2 hours?! Or, lets make it 3 since, you know, its not company time and everybody got time for it :D

I want to know, is this something agreed upon before employment? If it is, then the employees should stfu and get back to work, otherwise yes I would say companies should have to pay for time that is controlled by the employer.

It doesn't matter. If they company has to pay for the time, I bet you anything you want that the queues will get sorted out in 5 minutes.

Why is it 30 minutes? Because... since they don't pay for such time, nobody cares how long the employees are REQUIRED to wait to get screened.
 

hpglow

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I want to know, is this something agreed upon before employment? If it is, then the employees should stfu and get back to work, otherwise yes I would say companies should have to pay for time that is controlled by the employer.

Companies can't force you to agree to give up on your rights. Workers rights are clearly outlined and the only thing Amazon is entitled not to pay for is a Lunch break. Companies get away with these violations because people don't want to loose their jobs and because many don't know what their rights are. 30 min is a lot of extra time to spend at a place you are already tired of being at. Amazon shipping centers are already known to be horrible to work in without getting shafted by the company.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
I've been on construction sites that do the same for tool/copper scrap loss. One had a 45min pat-down and lunch box check line. In that case the state told them if they couldn't get us out the door in 15min we had to be compensated. We ended up getting back pay some time later and it was all OT because we were already working 60 to 70 hours a week. So I would assume Amazon got the same judgement and chose to appeal.

The stupid thing is staggering start and start times of your employees by 15 to 30 min usually fixes these issues, make three or four groups and stagger when they arrive and leave. Then the bottleneck at the turnstyles and leaving the parking lot is greatly reduced. By making everyone leave at once it encourages people to stop work early, rush to the time clock, and run to the checkout area. Because whoever gets there first doesn't wait 30 min its who takes their time and gives an honest days work that ends up waiting in that line longest.

Yup. Staggered shifts are the only ones that make sense. Not because you get less bottlenecks... but because the workflow is much more steady.

It was hilarious that, at my workplace (10 minutes walk from side to side), the boss always complained that we were putting over-time hours even though we were enough people... until we asked him to come with us for a whole shift. End result? Its 15:45 (barely enough time to walk to the office to clock out by 16:00) aaaannnndd a yacht arrives and we have to dock it (20 minutes). How the hell do you dock it without:

a) Making the client wait.
b) Not making overtime?

Not possible. Bosses answer? "This barely happens at all". Yeah. Right. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

McClintoc

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They are, since they have to go through the line in order to work. The very same moment its not their choice, its the companies's... they have to pay.

Its simple, pure 100% logic.

Then I would opt to not go through security and leave immediately. Since I'm on my own time, the company has no say what I do with that time. See how that works?

No, it's not pure, 100% simple logic. If the company paid hourly people to wait in line, then those people would all wonder around and try to be the last in line so they could get paid more without having to do anything. Then all the people that were some of the first through security would bitch since they weren't getting paid as much as those who were at the end of the line. It's the same reason hourly people don't get paid during lunch. If they did, there were be no incentive to come back from lunch and get back to production. See how that works?
 
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30min a day @ $30 an hour = $4000

I'm very surprised so many people are willing to walk away from $4000 like that? Must have more money than me.
 

Biznatch

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No, it's not pure, 100% simple logic. If the company paid hourly people to wait in line, then those people would all wonder around and try to be the last in line so they could get paid more without having to do anything. Then all the people that were some of the first through security would bitch since they weren't getting paid as much as those who were at the end of the line. It's the same reason hourly people don't get paid during lunch. If they did, there were be no incentive to come back from lunch and get back to production. See how that works?

Yea, and when amazon realizes how much its costing them to have their hourly employees wait in line, they will fix that shit real quick.... If amazon is forcing people to wait in lines before they can leave, they should be paid for their time. Or amazon needs to fix the issue so there aren't lines at all.

What if your company forced you into a 30 minute meeting at the end of the day, every day, where you did/contributed nothing.... I'm pretty sure you would still want to be paid for your time.
 

Parja

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It's the same reason hourly people don't get paid during lunch. If they did, there were be no incentive to come back from lunch and get back to production. See how that works?

But see, an employee can do whatever they want during their lunch time. The employer can't dictate what they do during that time 'cuz that's not their time. Same story with the security checks. Pay the employees for the security check or you've got to let them go about their own business.
 

McClintoc

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But see, an employee can do whatever they want during their lunch time. The employer can't dictate what they do during that time 'cuz that's not their time. Same story with the security checks. Pay the employees for the security check or you've got to let them go about their own business.

Here's a notion: you are an EMPLOYEE. You do what your employer says so you can keep your job. Don't like it? Then quit and go work somewhere else.

How about this: as an employer, go find a homeless guy on the street. Tell him you have a job for him but the only catch is, he has to clock out at the end of his shift each day and wait in a security line that may take up to 30 minutes. He'll still ask you how soon he can start.

It's an epidemic these days where peons at a company think they deserve executive-level pay.
 
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