Amazon Workers Want Pay for Off-the-Clock Security Checks
Workers at Louisville-area Zappos warehouses have filed suit in federal court seeking pay for time spent filing through anti-theft screenings - sometimes for a half hour or more - after their shifts end.
The lawsuit aims to get class-action status to cover all Kentucky employees of Zappos and its parent company, Amazon, for the past five years. Employees have had to spend at least 10 minutes off the clock and on occasion 30 minutes or more each day going through metal detectors and searches before they leave, the lawsuit claims. The defendants do not request a specific amount of money, said the Louisville Courier Journal.
Similar complaints against Amazon were upheld in a recent decision involving a Nevada Amazon warehouse by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Screening workers as they leave work to prevent theft is a common practice in the warehousing and logistics industry, a huge sector of Louisville’s economy.
Tina and Aaron Vance, a mother and son, filed the lawsuit Aug. 1 in U.S. District Court in Louisville and were quickly joined by three other Zappos workers.
The Vances recently worked as hourly employees at Zappos in Bullitt County, where they were required “to proceed through a lengthy anti-theft security screening operation after clocking out at the end of their work shifts,” the said the Louisville Courier Journal said, adding, “This mandatory, post-shift security screening operation entails waiting in line, walking through a metal detector, periodically being inspected with metal detecting wands, and having bags and personal items searched by security guards.”
All plaintiffs seek to be paid wages, overtime pay if applicable, damages and lawyer fees. The lawsuit seeks class action status “for all Amazon workers,” said the Louisville Courier Journal.
Zappos reportedly pays $9 per hour to start and offers free lunches and vending machine snacks, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
“If the metal detector’s alarm sounds and the employee cannot identify what is causing the alarm to sound, a security guard then searches the employee using a metal detecting wand,” the complaint added. “This mandatory post-shift, theft-prevention security screening routinely takes at least 10 minutes to complete, but with delays can last as much as 30 minutes or longer.”
Failing to pay workers for anti-theft checks required as a condition of their job violates the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws that require “that covered employees by compensated for every hour worked in a workweek,” said the Louisville Courier Journal.