The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the time spent waiting to undergo end of shift security screenings are not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA an activity is compensable if the activity is integral and indispensable to the principal activities that the employee is hired to perform. The Court stated that for the activity to be integral and indispensable, the activity must be an intrinsic element of the principle activities and the activity cannot be dispensed. In this case the post shift security screenings were in place to prevent employee theft and lasted around 25 minutes each day.
Although the employer benefited from the security screenings, the standard for compensable time is narrower. The Court stated that the employer did not hire the employees to undergo security screenings, but rather the employees were hired to retrieve products from warehouse shelves. Further, the Court stated that the employer could eliminate the screenings and the employees’ ability to complete their work would not be impacted.
Therefore, the post shift security screenings were not compensable because the screenings were not an intrinsic element of the job and could be dispensed of without impacting the principal activity.