According to a recent decision, employers who want to keep employees on their premises for security checks after they have already clocked out must pay their employees to do so—at least in Pennsylvania.
In 2013, two Amazon.com employees filed a putative class action in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against their employer, certain of Amazon’s affiliates, and Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., seeking compensation under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 333.101 et seq. for time spent undergoing a mandatory security check after their shifts had already ended. The plaintiffs worked in a warehouse in Pennsylvania where they performed tasks related to fulfilling customer orders placed on Amazon. At the end of their shifts, the plaintiffs were not allowed to immediately leave the premises, as they were required to remain at the warehouse to proceed through a screening process that included walking through a metal detector. If the alarm went off, the worker would be subject to a secondary screening process where a security guard would search the worker’s bags and personal items. The plaintiffs alleged that the entire screening process could take up to twenty minutes, or even more if there were delays. The defendants did not compensate the workers for any of this time.