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Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk

Supreme Court of the United States

October 8, 2014, Argued; December 9, 2014, Decided

No. 13-433

Opinion

 [*29] Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court.

The employer in this case required its employees, warehouse workers who retrieved inventory and packaged it for shipment, to undergo an antitheft security screening before leaving the warehouse  [*30]  each day. The question presented is whether the employees’ time spent waiting to undergo and undergoing those security screenings is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §201 et seq., as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947, §251 et seq. We hold that the time is not compensable. We therefore reverse the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Petitioner Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., provides warehouse staffing to Amazon.com throughout the United States. Respondents Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro worked as hourly employees of Integrity Staffing at warehouses [****5]  in Las Vegas and Fenley, Nevada, respectively. As warehouse employees, they retrieved products from the shelves and packaged those products for delivery to Amazon customers.

Integrity Staffing required its employees to undergo a security screening before leaving the warehouse at the end of each day. During this screening, employees removed items such as wallets, keys, and belts from their persons and passed through metal detectors.

In 2010, Busk and Castro filed a putative class action against Integrity Staffing on behalf of similarly situated employees in the Nevada warehouses for alleged violations of the FLSA and Nevada labor laws. As relevant here, the employees alleged that they were entitled to compensation under the FLSA for the time spent waiting to undergo and actually undergoing the security screenings. They alleged that such time amounted to roughly 25 minutes each day and that it could have been reduced to a de minimis amount by adding more security screeners or by  [***416]  staggering the termination of shifts so that employees could flow through the checkpoint more quickly. They also alleged that the screenings were conducted “to prevent  [**516]  employee theft” and thus occurred “solely [****6]  for the benefit of the employers and their customers.” App. 19, 21.

 The District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, holding that the time spent waiting for and undergoing the security screenings was not compensable under the FLSA. It explained that, because the screenings occurred after the regular work shift, the employees could state a claim for compensation only if the screenings were an integral and indispensable part of the principal activities they were employed to perform. The District Court held that these screenings were not integral and indispensable but instead fell into a noncompensable category of postliminary activities.

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574 U.S. 27 *; 135 S. Ct. 513 **; 190 L. Ed. 2d 410 ***; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 8293 ****; 83 U.S.L.W. 4013; 165 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P36,293; 23 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d (BNA) 1485; 25 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 12

INTEGRITY STAFFING SOLUTIONS, INC., Petitioner v. JESSE BUSK, et al.

Notice: The Lexis pagination of this document is subject to change pending release of the final published version.

Subsequent History: On remand at Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., 794 F.3d 1032, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11640 (9th Cir., July 7, 2015)

Prior History:  [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc., 713 F.3d 525, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7397 (9th Cir. Nev., Apr. 12, 2013)

Disposition: 713 F. 3d 525, reversed.

CORE TERMS

principal activity, screenings, employees, indispensable, integral, warehouse, undergo, Staffing, postliminary, waiting, time spent, Portal-to-Portal Act, noncompensable, dispense, regulations, customers, intrinsic, products, clothes

Business & Corporate Compliance, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, Minimum Wage, Labor & Employment Law, Remedies, General Overview, Overtime & Work Periods, Statutory Application, Portal-to-Portal Act