In a wage case involving employees at warehouses of a popular online selling site, workers asserted that they should be paid for the additional minutes they must spend while in line for security and anti-theft checks. In December 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers are not required to pay workers for the time consumed to adhere with security checks, as dealing with security checks is not “integral and indispensable” to the workers’ principal tasks of warehousing.
Defining what is integral and indispensable to a worker’s duty is oftentimes a point of confusion and debate in U.S. courts. For many, an activity is considered integral and indispensable if it is an intrinsic element to his principal task. In the above case, undergoing security check is not considered an intrinsic activity for a warehouse worker’s job. However, preliminary and postliminary activities in certain types of occupations could be principal, and thus compensable. A worker required to change his clothes due to the nature of his job, for instance, could have his clothes-changing time compensable.
Proving integrality and indispensability in a wage and hour dispute requires the knowledge and the experience of a wage violation lawyer. If you believe you are not being paid correctly, or if you need legal representation in a wage dispute, speak with an attorney at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® by calling our Madison office at (414) 271-0900 today.