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Airport security screening line.
How would you like to go through a security screening line—and I do mean line—every day at work?
Over the last couple years, a lawsuit by workers at Amazon warehouses has been making its way through the courts. Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to take it up. The workers claim that they were made to spend time off the clock going through security screenings, taking about 25 unpaid minutes each day. Being made to work off the clock is classic wage theft lawsuit material, but Bruce Vail writes, the stakes are unusually high in this case:
Mark Thierman, the Reno, Nev., lawyer representing Busk and Castro, says the lawsuit has since been joined by another 500 workers from other warehouses. If the suit is fully successful, he tells In These Times, the settlement could include back pay for as many as 500,000 workers (both permanent and temporary) from all of Amazon’s more than 50 U.S. warehouses. [...]

A commentary from attorneys at Littler Mendelson, which is representing Integrity Staffing, explains the stake employers have in Busk. “The question is of great import for the nation’s employers as security screening is becoming an ever more common practice in the workplace,” write attorneys Neil Alexander, Rick Roskelley and Cory Walker. “Indeed, the Ninth Circuit’s determination in Busk has already triggered a spate of class-action suits filed by employees seeking back pay for time spent undergoing pre- or post-shift security measures. If allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit’s determination could result in massive retroactive liability stemming from such suits.”

Since the circuit court ruling was in favor of the workers, there's reason for concern that the Supreme Court is hearing this case in order to decide that, yes, businesses can force workers to spend significant unpaid time going through required security screenings:
“It’s always a little worrying when [the Supreme Court] agrees to take a case from the Ninth Circuit,” [attorney Brooke Lierman] says. Whereas the Ninth Circuit is considered by labor lawyers to be relatively liberal, the high court is considered very conservative, Lierman says, so there is concern that some Supreme Court judges are predisposed to overrule the Ninth Circuit. “There are justices on the Supreme Court who want to roll back the rights of workers,” she says.
She's definitely not kidding on that last point.

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.

A fair day's wage

  • Sixteen states are taking action to curb reckless outsourcing.
  • He lost his job as a reporter and ended up working retail:
    The first thing I noticed on my first day on the job is that in retail no one sits.

    Ever.

    It didn’t matter if it was at the beginning of my shift, if the store was empty, or if my knees, back, and feet ached from hours of standing. Park your behind while on the clock, went the unspoken rule, and you might find it on a park bench scanning the want-ads for a new job.

    Another quick observation: Working in retail takes more skill than just selling stuff. Besides the mindless tasks one expects—folding, stacking, sorting, fetching things for customers—I frequently had to tackle a series of housekeeping chores that Stretch never mentioned in our welcome-aboard chat. Performed during the late shift, those chores usually meant I’d have to stay well past the scheduled 9 p.m. quitting time.

    (He doesn't comment on it much, but this story involves quite a bit of wage theft.)
  • Speaking of wage theft, Baltimore-area bus drivers are getting a $1.25 million settlement; they sued for overtime pay they should have gotten but didn't. Their employer, Durham School Services, has been hit with repeated allegations of wage theft.
  • Care before profit? That's what nurses are fighting for in Brooklyn.
  • The real story behind the Detroit pension fight and what it means to America's future.
  • The New York state Assembly has voted for paid family leave. Will the state Senate follow suit?
  • How the GOP ambushed the VW union election—it's not just Sen. Bob Corker:
    One local group, Southern Momentum, played a critical role in this frenzy of anti-unionism. Southern Momentum claims to represent ordinary Volkswagen workers, but surprisingly for a grassroots organization, it engaged the services of Projections, Inc., one of the nation’s leading union avoidance firms, which specializes in anti-union videos and websites. The group’s slick anti-union "no2uaw.com" website -- cited by media stories as having influenced workers -- claims to be made by “concerned VW team members." But it appears to be a Projections-created website, and the firm is already using the Volkswagen case to promote its “Union Proof” program with other employers.
  • Education
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is under attack for not giving charter schools, particularly the politically connected Success Academies, every single thing they want. But Jeff Bryant brings some facts on the fight, starting with the fact that de Blasio's administration approved co-location applications for 14 out of 17 charter schools that applied. Not to mention:
    Mayor de Blasio pointed out that the children who were being targeted to give up their current facilities to make way for a charter co-location happen to matter, too.

    In this case, the two schools being occupied by the charters, PS 149 and 811, serve special education students. Parents at those schools recently put together a brief video in which they describe how much they and their children love their schools.

    Success Academy schools, meanwhile, have reputations for practicing “zero tolerance” discipline policies that often target special education students for harsh punishments such as suspensions and expulsions.

    Diane Ravitch has more, and Sarah Jaffe looks at the political stakes.
  • At a college where adjunct professors make $16,000 for a year's full teaching load, they are unionizing and may strike. The college's president makes more than $450,000 a year.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for the valuable info (15+ / 0-)

    I didn't know about the Amazon lawsuit.  My ignorance. I will bring it up next time I do business with them.

    The War on Workers has not been front and center for me, but it is clearly part of the pattern of a sociopathic corporate America.

    Until workers can truly participate in corporate governance things will probably not change.

    What is the final destination of the movement?

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:11:58 AM PDT

  •  I can here Scalia already: (14+ / 0-)
    Does your employer have to pay you to get up in the morning also? What about when you eat your breakfast, should the job creator be responsible for that too? I walk through security gates all the time in a matter of seconds everywhere I go but I don't think I should be paid to do it!
    •  Except… (4+ / 0-)

      If you are injured at work and you are not "on the clock" you get to sue in normal court. Just like if you slipped and fell as a normal customer on their property.
      No Workers Comp, a full civil and criminal lawsuit.

      Which means larger payouts to the employee.
      Corporations are not going to like that.

      I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

      by roninkai on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

        Wouldn't an employer be able to argue that if an employee wasn't on the clock, he wasn't authorized to be on the premises and therefore was trespassing? I doubt a civil court would buy that, but police and prosecutors might, giving the employer the ability to threaten the employee with criminal charges if he pursued a civil remedy.

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 05:57:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ron - nope (0+ / 0-)

        For the purposes of workers comp insurance once you arrive at the job site you are covered. That's actually in the employee's interest because if you aren't covered it could take years to receive payment for any medical costs or lost wages or you could be deemed to have been injured through your own negligence.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:30:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  this would seem to be a pretty simple ruling (14+ / 0-)

    It is already pretty well-established in case law that any time you are under an employers control or direction (and that means basically any time that you have to do what the boss tells you to do and you can't voluntarily leave), you must be paid. Period.

    I don't see what legal rationale Amazon can even offer as a defense for this . . . .

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:15:34 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, I'm wondering how they can turn (7+ / 0-)

      this one around in any significant fashion.  If your employer requires you to go through a process which they control as an integral aspect of your job, they obviously must compensate you for that time.

      This isn't equivalent to the time you spend putting on a company uniform before showing up to work - it's their own premises, their own processes.

      Essentially, they are making you go through extra doors after you enter the work environment on Amazon's property, it seems.  In that respect, I guess Amazon's argument might be that you don't figuratively punch the time clock until passing their security check, but this is an extra process that they added to your entrance into the work environment - it's not akin to your morning commute, which is outside of Amazon's control.

      So, they are looking rather weak, here.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:49:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. And Scalia doesn't have an honest objection (3+ / 0-)

      (doesn't mean he doesn't have a dishonest one) because employment is contractual -- if you work hourly, the employer is paying for your time.  

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:53:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  probably "ready to work" . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OpherGopher, OrganicChemist, VClib

      at least coming in.  And they can argue you're not "ready to work" until you've passed a security scan, just like you're not "ready to board" at the airport.  Weak, but at least it's an argument.  Comes down to "which side of the time clock" . . .

      The exit scan is clearly an anti-theft measure, and likely to be found a "reasonable condition of employment", no more onerous than the (unpaid) walk to the parking lot.  That will come down to "unreasonable delay" . . . and documenting how much, if any, there is/was.  

      10-15 minutes is absurdly too much in either case, while 30 seconds out of your way to walk through a scanner probably is not.

      The issues around shift change have always been there in a "production" environment . . . does "work" begin when you enter or leave the building, or when you relieve the last shift at the work station.  Different circumstances can lead to different answers . . . or at least different "accommodations".  A classic example is "work uniform" . . . should the employee be "in uniform" before punching the time clock, or can he/she present in civvies and change on "company time".  If "in uniform" is your Mickey Mouse costume there's one answer, if it's your "UPS browns" there's another . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:14:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  here's the deciding factor . . . . (6+ / 0-)

        Have an employee say "I don't want to go through the security check."

        Can the boss tell him "No, you HAVE to?" Then he's under the boss's control and direction, and he has to be paid.  Period. The Boss can't tell you what to do on your own time--he can only tell you what to do on HIS time.

        "Ready to work" is not a legal factor. Case law is clear--the deciding factor is whether the boss can tell you what to do. If the Boss can tell you "You MUST go through the security check", then you are under his control and direction. And that ends the matter.

        I see no way for Amazon to win this.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:21:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not so . . . (0+ / 0-)

          The "Boss" can also tell you that you can't park your pickup in front of the loading dock . . . that doesn't mean you're "on HIS time" when you do, just as you can't insist on getting paid for the walk from the street.  There is also plenty of "condition of employment" case law and the argument that such "conditions" are already compensated in the contracted wage.  It wouldn't surprise me if the incoming (safety) scan and the outgoing (anti-theft) scan get treated differently, and that neither case gets the simple answer you expect.

          But in the long run it doesn't matter anyway.  If you want Amazon to pay an extra half hour of "getting ready for work" time they'll just lower the hourly rate for "productive work" time to compensate . . . and both actual work time and take home pay will remain the same.

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:21:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's only a few generations ago miners were (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango

      getting shot fighting for portal to portal pay instead of clocking in and out at the working face.

  •  The SCOTUS is corporate friendly (6+ / 0-)

    with a cabal of 5 corrupt judges, they will always vote in favor of the corporation, no matter how unjust it is.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:16:02 AM PDT

  •  Aussies the World’s Richest People (8+ / 0-)

    We should follow the example of Australia: the minimum wage is roughly $15.00-US; workers receive an annual COLA. How is it that Australia can afford to pay a living wage and provide good benefits, including universal health care?

    Business Profits as a Percentage of National Income:
    U.S.: 20.4%
    Australia: 12.7%

    A higher minimum wage will help to boost the wages of other income earners. In 2011, the median wage was $57,400 in Australia (it’s $40,000 in the U.S.). Australians rank no. 1 in the world on median wealth: $219,505.

    Aussies the World’s Richest People: Credit Suisse

    http://www.smh.com.au/...

    It’s time to put an end to corporate welfare for companies like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. Taxpayers should not be providing their employees with food stamps and other assistance because they do not pay a living wage.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:41:38 AM PDT

  •  Here's what I don't understand: (8+ / 0-)

    Why is the rule about whether employees need to be compensated very simple?

    If the time in question is one in which they can choose to do what they want, or go where they want, without interference from the employer, they aren't paid.  For anything else, they are paid.

    That would make these "screenings" paid time--the worker in question can't decide to go elsewhere or skip the screening, so it's at the behest of the employer, and it's therefore paid time.

    Simple, one would think.

    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" -- (Talbot, in: The Maid of Orleans by Friedrich Schiller)

    by rfall on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

  •  Awesome. There is no honest conservative position (4+ / 0-)

    to justify wage theft.  An employment relationship is contractual in nature.  When an employer contracts to pay you by the hour, they are paying you for your time. If they make you spend your time for their purposes, you should be paid.

    Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    There is a parade of horribles argument to be made about commuting to the workplace, time spent dressing in work clothes, etc, but there's an easy bright line to be drawn, and easy bright lines tend to kill a parade of horribles.

    Once you clock in (or start the clock running if you don't use a time clock), you get paid.   Employers cannot place any demands on your time until you clock in.  Requiring you to go through security is a demand on your time.  Training is a demand on your time. Stopping on the way in to pick up donuts for the crew is a demand on your time if your boss asks you to do it.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:51:31 AM PDT

  •  It's the Democrats' fault (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Janet 707, happymisanthropy

    that we have a silent toad like Thomas sitting on the SCourt.

    Supposedly there was a 2nd woman ready to testify against him at his confirmation hearings, but the Democrats decided against it. (Somebody tell me if I'm wrong on this one.)

    The Republican played the race card, big time (Remember "high-tech lynching"?); quite a change from when they'd accuse the Dems of it to stifle discrimination debates.

    It worked though - enough Democrats, scared of being called racists, voted for confirmation (I still can't believe Ted Kennedy was one of them) when they probably could've come up with a half dozen black jurists who were way more qualified to be on the Court.

    And just a few years ago it turned out Thomas fudged some serious information on his tax return, claimed ignorance and got away with it. If he'd been nominated by a Democrat you know the GOP wouldn't have hesitated for a second running him off the Court, accusations of racism be damned - but there wasn't a peep about it from the Dems.

    Of course this is all academic; if Thomas had been rejected Daddy Bush would've nominated someone every bit as dependably reactionary.

    You can't stop progress (or is that "profit"?)

    by Miscweant on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:51:47 AM PDT

    •  Miscweant - please stop spreading false (0+ / 0-)

      information. No one has any idea what Justice Thomas has filed in his tax returns because those returns are confidential. Everyone's tax returns must be kept in confidence unless the taxpayer makes them public (as most candidates for POTUS do) or the IRS brings a criminal matter to court. Any unauthorized disclosure of tax information is a felony.

      All federal judges file annual statements for the purpose of assisting counsel in filing conflict of interest motions. In those forms judges list the employers of their spouses. NO INCOME information is required, nor is there even a place on the form to list any income information. Justice Thomas failed to list the employers of his spouse. Mrs. Thomas' employers were widely reported in the DC press, and none of her employers were parties to any cases that appeared before the Court while she was an employee. Justice Thomas was asked to amend his forms and include the names of his spouse's employers, which he has done.

      This was never an issue of reporting income, and was never an IRS issue as those returns are highly confidential. The actual facts have been outlined by many of the lawyers who blog here. Please stop spreading false information.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:56:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PBS Propaganda on the Minimum Wage (5+ / 0-)

    I had difficult time believing what I was hearing. I see
    everyone from  liberal to conservative media outlets   doing a lot of verbal hand wringing over overtime pay and the minimum wage increase.

    Notice how the business owner interviewed will not have to pay a higher wage by the raising of wages at the Sea-Tac Airport but is just worried that maybe his employees may leave for better pay elsewhere.
    That is what I mean by “hand wringing.”  It is not reporting.

    Also, notice how the correspondent talks about transferring wealth
    from the winners to “losers” at the beginning of the report. Why is someone that makes a minimum wage considered a loser ?

    Liberal, moderate, conservative media outlets are just corporate spokespeople not reporters.

    http://www.pbs.org/...

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 11:54:56 AM PDT

  •  Well, I suppose Amazon COULD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EliseMattu

    hire or contract for more screeners to eliminate the lines, so the employees can indeed walk through the screening "in a matter of seconds" - as it always happens in Scalia-land.

    I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:00:42 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      Clearly, if people have to wait 20 minutes to get through security, there aren't enough screeners.  Instead of staffing properly, they are demanding that other workers donate their time to the company so the company can remain understaffed. Don't see how this can be legal (but with our supreme court you never know).

      I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. -- Susan B. Anthony

      by bluestatesam on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 01:43:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time (0+ / 0-)

    The pay should start at the back of the security line. The employees are not guilty of anything and their 'work' starts when the boss makes them stand in line.

    The extreme court is likely to rule 5-4 that Amazon should not have to pay people at all because consumers could choose to buy from a company that actually pays wages. I am only adding a touch of snark. Many of their other rulings like Citizens United and all the other rulings equating money with speech are just as crazy. The ability for anyone other than a constituent of the particular representative to influence politicians in any substantial way with money or advertisements should be illegal. Each member of the House has about 700,000 constituents that should be 99.99999% of all the influence other than the oath of office.

    Coin operated politicians have destroyed the country and they will stand around and take bribes rather than do anything helpful. Until we stop the bribes or crash so hard the participants in the extort and bribe game fear the citizens, we will just have to live on the scraps that haven't rotted yet.    

  •  Rachel Maddow is going to cover this, right? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:50:10 PM PDT

    •  She will indeed cover this if there (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, Johnathan Ivan, Patango

      Are no other important items for her  to mention. Like some odd ball remark that Rush Limbaugh or Ryan or Walker happen to make.

      Not only should this be mentioned, but the fact that companies that act as government agencies now employ third world nation's people to serve as collection personnel.

      It is one thing to be unemployed and trying to deal with Sallie ae. It is another thing entirely to realize that the Sallie Mae employees  you  are speaking to are all several thousand miles away.

      An increase in minimum wage doesn't mean all that much if most of our jobs continue to be outsourced.

      •  Oddball remarks? (0+ / 0-)
        Are no other important items for her  to mention. Like some odd ball remark that Rush Limbaugh or Ryan or Walker happen to make.
        Oddball remarks are a key way to keep folks focused away from those awful economic issues.  If people are kept distracted, misdirected via the D vs. R Kabuki Theater of the Absurd, they might start to focus on policy and whose interests are getting advanced.

        And no one wants that.

        The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:53:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amzn the liberal hypocrisy... (0+ / 0-)

    Their labor practices and predatory business model is something Wal-Mart only dreams of...

    And yet we love our Amzn, just can't get enough of it.

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:54:30 PM PDT

  •  I'm surprised Amazon didn't have an arbitration (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, Josiah Bartlett, JesseCW

    clause in its employment contract.  Under the Concepcion case that would've crushed any class action from the get-go.

    The most pernicious law in this country is the Federal Arbitration Act, which overrules dozens of federal statutes and thousands of state statutues, and, arguably, the 7th Amendment to the US Constitution.  A law that was originally intended to help maritime companies settle cargo disputes has now taken on the status of a constitutional provision.

    For decades law concerning disputes under the FAA was minimal.  Then, back in the Eighties the Rehnquist court began pushing it big time.  The SC's interpetations of the law bear no resemblance to Congress's orginal intent.  As Sandra Day O'Connor has commented, with the FAA, the SC has built an edifice strictly of its own creation.

    The FAA is the law most responsible for income inequality in this country.  The FAA allows companies to unilaterally take away employee and consumer rights.  You know, rights that were written into law by representative bodies.

    The companies can now decide where and by whom your case may be heard, what procedures may or not be used, what discovery can or cannot be done, and what evidence can be introduced.  The arbitrator, who will almost always favor big business because that's where his business comes from, has the power of judge, jury, and court of appeals.  There are few checks on the power of an arbitrator and the process, contrary to what the Chamber of Commerce says, is much more epensive than most litigation.

  •  An employer calls the police when an employee (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman, JesseCW

    steals from them.

    The only recourse employees have is to buy a lawyer when the employer steals from them. Usually at a rate of a weeks pay per hour.

  •  Every time service I've ever worked for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango

    has stolen wages from me.  One went bankrupt rather than pay workers what it owed when the CA labor board ruled against them.

    Others would admit the "error", then take weeks to fix it, often committing more "errors" along the way to muddy the waters.  

    In one case, the owner of the company I worked for found out and called in on behalf of the six temps he had.  They'd charge him accurately for all of our hours, then tried to routinely short us a few hours double time every week.

    They responded by pulling us all off the contract.  He let them know he was changing services if we didn't come in.  We were all back on the same day.

    From then on, his accounting dept. reviewed all our checks and timesheets.

  •  This is pretty whiney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    I had a career as an airline pilot.  I had to go through security at least once each day I went to work, and I was never paid for the time it took to do so.  

    I'm not saying this is right, just that that Amazon employees are not the only people who go through security to get to work.

    TEA PARTIES: Something little girls do with their imaginary friends.
    (-6.75 -6.51)

    by flygrrl on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:13:30 PM PDT

  •  "employees must wash hands . . . " (0+ / 0-)

    Employers making the "right to safe, secure workplace etc. etc." argument might as well say employees need to clock-out for the 2 minutes it takes to wash their hands every time they "return" to work.  

    After all, washing hands is a 'condition for employment' rather than performance of labor.

    Employers shut down equipment for the "safety of the facility, workers & customers" frequently.  It protects employer and employees from expensive risks. You do not clock-out an employee merely because you've forced their equipment to be shut/repaired.  Similarly, screening employees for work is done to protect the profits of the corporation.  It is a cost-benefit equation where both employer and employee must be part of the equation.  Screening employees is an employer benefit that that must come with a reciprocal "cost" to employer (paying wage) and "benefit" to employee (receipt of wage).

    This should be a bright line issue.  Once you are under the control and/or acting on the behest of your employer, then you are laboring and the clock is running.

    The immediate political & legal issue (apparently, I have not read the briefs) is therefore (1) is there an existing labor statute that already covers this issue and is not being enforced or is too nebulous or (2) do states or the federal govt. need to put a statute in place. Any of the states covered by the ninth circuit could put legislation in place before this even reaches the Supreme Court which could render the issue moot - for now.

    sláinte,
    cl
    -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

    by Caoimhin Laochdha on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:32:34 AM PDT

  •  Amazon stealing from workers (0+ / 0-)

    Amazon corporation stealing from workers is just corporate America at its illegal , corrupt best . And we don't need Unions ? PLEASE !!!

  •  Same Old Story (0+ / 0-)

    Republican crooks protecting the rich while brainwashing the working class slave to take it in the ass even more while they get richer and richer.

    Until the average working-class enslaved person grows a brain and realizes that Fox News CULT is just a BS lying propaganda machine run by the scammer "Conservatives",
    this will continue.

  •  This case should be cut and dry (0+ / 0-)

    If you are at work doing what they tell you, you need to be paid.  PERIOD

    The Supreme Court is full of assholes and idiots now.
    Hell, Clarence Thomas was a sexual harrasser perv.

  •  I Have A Hunch (0+ / 0-)

    that the conservative majority will come down on the side of Amazon.

  •  MY EMPLOYER DOES SOMETHING SIMILAR. (0+ / 0-)

        I do customer service over the internet, from home, supply my own computer, landline phone and high speed internet.  When I clock in, if I run into technical problems, which take more than 10 minutes, I need to keep track of the total time I am unable to take calls, from the minute I was unable to take calls, to the minute I am taking calls again.  I need to report this so they don't have to pay me for any time I am not taking calls, even if it is their fault.  
        They also have things they want you to do "between calls", but there is no such thing as "between calls".  If you are lucky, you have a few seconds between calls, but usually it is one after the other.  
         If the call volume decreases, and there is too much time between calls, they may ask for volunteers, to take 1 or 2 hours voluntary time off, which you don't get paid for.  If they don't get enough volunteers to take time off and it is still too slow, they can also make you take mandatory time off and you have to log off, even if your shift is not over.

    •  That sucks :( (0+ / 0-)

      La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues, et de voler du pain.

      by dconrad on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 02:47:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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