Amazon temps sue over long security checks
Workers in Nevada claim they weren't paid for time spent waiting in screening lines after their 12-hour shifts.
Yet Amazon.com (AMZN) seems to think a warehouse full of temporary workers could be the leakiest piece of its package pipeline, so it makes those employees wait up to half an hour just to get through security checkpoints. Employees at a Nevada warehouse are suing Amazon's hiring company for making them wait -- unpaid -- in lines that are sometimes a hundred people deep at the end of their shifts.
The employees' issue isn't with the checks themselves, according to The Huffington Post. They understand exactly how much the electronics and other pricey goods in the warehouse are worth and why Amazon wouldn't want employees -- especially the temporary holiday help -- just leaving the grounds unchecked. And they haven't named Amazon in the suit.
They're angry primarily because the temp agency that hired them, Integrity Staffing Solutions, didn't give them any money for spending an extra half-hour at work after a 12-hour shift.
The employees have been suing for back wages and hit a wall in 2011 when a federal court in Nevada tossed out their claims that they're owed for the time they spent in security lines in 2009 and 2010. Last month, however, a federal appeals panel reversed that portion of the decision. The plaintiffs' lawyers now say thousands of workers are eligible to join the suit, and they've cited similar conditions at warehouses in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Although this is somewhat new territory for the logistics and package-based retail industry, the Amazon temp workers' complaint falls under the donning and doffing portion of the Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act. A similar suit against U.S. Steel (X) is going before the Supreme Court in October, according to Occupational Health & Safety, while the Department of Labor pushed Tyson Foods (TSN) to settle a similar case in 2010.
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I believe in the past that flight attendants had the same issue, where they did not get paid if the flight was delayed, cancelled, etc. I say, if one is "trapped" in a building a plane, etc, they should be compensated for the wait/delay even if they are not being "productive" because, their time is certainly not their own if they are waiting in a queue just to leave....
They can't name Amazon because Amazon didn't hire them. It's how Amazon avoids all legal responsibility for this slave labor. 90% of these workers are 'temp.' The staffing company has offices on site, take a sick day and you're fired, leave for an emergency and you're fired. There is no vacation, no benefits, no sick leave. These 'sweat warehouses' are replica's of slave labor from the past and the reason UNIONS were created. Every SECOND of their time is monitored down to how long it took to take a piss, 'and could you hold that until your break cause you're already 90 seconds behind schedule.' All for 25 cents over minimum wage.
Folks, if you care at all about your fellow human being, think about what Amazon is doing here, walk a mile in the shoes of one of these laborers and believe me, you won't buy from Amazon.
Don't buy from Amazon as this is the new business model for treatment of America's Employees.
When I was in college I worked as a package handler at a UPS warehouse. Damaged boxes would get set aside and a girl would come by to patch them up and send them on their way. She got the idea to bring personal address labels to work so the packages would be delivered to her house. Some plainclothes security guys came by one day and took her away.
'Right to Work/, a gift to the Casinos. These yahoos gave Nevada Energy, the states electricity monopoly 40 BILLION dollars in 2010. How did they get it? By cutting State Employee pay by 6%, charging more for health insurance, forced unpaid leave. Meanwhile, they have granted the utility monopoly 4 rate hike increases in the last 5 years and they are getting another this year. They refuse to increase mining revenue and we get the same rate we've gotten since 1919 at $19.00 PER OUNCE!!!!!
Not only the pit of this depression, these politicians make it the pit of the USA.
Sketchy legal issues. At what point do you start the clock? does the clock start when I get to my work station or when I enter the building. Should I get credit when I pull in the parking lot... when I leave my house, When I start getting dressed if I have to wear a uniform?
The lawyers will make a fortune on this over the next few years.
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