If allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit’s decision could lead to similar lawsuits against state and local governments.
Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) June 13, 2014
The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) along with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the International City/County Management Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the Government Finance Officers Association and the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association filed an amicus curiae brief (No. 13-433) on June 10 in the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Jesse Busk.
The case has been accepted for review by the United States Supreme Court. The issue surrounding the case is about whether time spent in security screenings is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
State and local government employees who work in courthouses, correctional institutions and warehouses routinely go through security screening at the beginning and/or end of the workday. The brief supports the position of the employer that security screenings should not be compensable.
“If allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit’s decision could lead to similar lawsuits against state and local governments,” said IPMA-HR Executive Director Neil Reichenberg. “And this action could result in significant costs for time spent on activities that other circuit courts have ruled are not compensable.”
The FLSA requires that “non-exempt” employees be paid for “preliminary” and “postliminary” activities, if they are integral and indispensable to an employee’s principal activities. The Ninth Circuit concluded time spent in security screening is compensable because security checks must be done at work, are necessary to employees’ primary work as warehouse employees, and are done for the employer’s benefit.
The amicus brief argues that the Ninth Circuit improperly excluded “integral” from the “integral and indispensable” test. “There is nothing about removing personal belongings from one’s pockets and walking through a metal detector that can be characterized as organically joined or linked to retrieving items from inventory and filling customers’ online orders.”
If the Supreme Court agrees with the Ninth Circuit, the brief warns that commuting to and from work could be compensable. The brief also points out that as the nation’s largest employer, state and local government can ill-afford higher payroll costs.
This case is on the docket for the next term of the Supreme Court that will begin in October 2014.
The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) is the leading public sector human resources organization in the world, and the premier international provider of public safety tests. IPMA-HR is committed to the advancement of the public sector and the strengthening of our communities by empowering HR professionals with key educational and training opportunities, valuable resources and assessments products, and effective advocacy at every level of government.