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Supreme Court rules unanimously against Amazon warehouse workers

Warehouse workers for Amazon.com can be forced to spend as much as 25 minutes off the clock to undergo security screenings at the end of their shift, the Supreme Court declared Monday. The justices ruled 9-0 against the workers at two Integrity Staffing Solutions warehouses in Nevada, locations where Amazon merchandise is shipped and processed. According to the class-action, workers at the Amazon contract facility claimed they were not paid for the nearly half-hour screening process in which they had to pass through metal detectors and remove their belts, wallets, keys and other metal objects.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled unanimously that a temp agency was not required to pay workers at Amazon warehouses for the time they spent waiting to go through a security screening at the end of the day. The workers say the process, meant to prevent theft, can take as long as 25 minutes. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said the screenings were not “integral and indispensable” to the workers’ jobs, which involved retrieving products from warehouse shelves and packaging them for delivery to Amazon’s customers. That meant, he said, that no extra pay was required. The decision was a big loss for workers challenging the security checks, which are common among retailers. According to a brief filed by the agency, there have been 13 class-action lawsuits against Amazon and other companies involving more than 400,000 plaintiffs and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars.

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