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Examining the Impact of the Class Action Lawsuit Against Amazon



Unpaid wages for security screenings at heart of legal action

A recent class action lawsuit filed against Amazon alleges illegal wage practices relating to unpaid overtime. The suit seeks damages on behalf of employees of the organization who served from 2010 to present day and suffered unpaid overtime wages.

The lawsuit focuses specifically on post-shift screening processes intended to curb theft. After each shift and meal break, employees are required to undergo this process, which includes a cursory search of the employees’ personal effects, including purses, backpacks and lunch bags. While this may seem like a swift transition from on-shift to off, the large of employees undergoing the search at the end of each shift can extend the process as much as 20-30 minutes.

While these practices are not unique to Amazon, the organization faced scrutiny for requiring employees to undergo the process WITHOUT pay. The refusal to provide compensation for up to 30 minutes of an employee’s time met with harsh reactions from the employees, especially since the practice can add up to 90 minutes of unpaid time each week.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for unpaid wages

The class action lawsuit against Amazon seeks compensation for the unpaid hours employees spent traversing the security process. The suit claims that employees suffered monetary loss as a result of the practice, and indicates that Amazon willingly deprived employees of pay they were entitled to.

Should the suit succeed, employees may be awarded compensation for back pay, interest, punitive damages and other issues.

Are security screenings a significant issue?

Anyone who has worked in retail or with high-value materials has likely experienced a security search as they left their place of employment. These searches have become commonplace in many settings, however the length of time they take on the Amazon situation is cause for concern.

While state and federal laws require employees to receive overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 hours in a single week, the guidelines governing post-shift security processes is vague. In most cases, such security processes are considered a contingency of employment. Of course, in most cases these processes take just seconds or minutes, far less than in Amazon’s situation.

Amazon could have avoided this issue altogether

With a small amount of foresight and planning, Amazon could likely have avoided this lawsuit altogether. Beginning the security screening process prior to the end of each shift would limit the potential for overtime issues.  Unfortunately, the organization failed to draft effective policies in this regard, and left itself open to potentially costly legal action.

If you are required to undergo lengthy security screenings without pay, you may have a case for compensation

Any employee who is required to undergo lengthy security screenings without pay may be entitled to compensation for back wages and lost pay. At Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, our New York employment law attorneys have handled highly complex cases relating to post-shift security screenings and overtime pay. Our knowledge of state and federal laws allows us to effectively apply the guidelines to your unique case to determine your legal footing and options for seeking compensation.

If you have been required to undergo such screening processes, it is important to discuss your specific situation with a New York employment lawyer.

Contact us online or call 212-545-1199 to discuss your case during a free consultation with one of our New York employment law attorneys.





Contact an employment law attorney in New York today for a free initial consultation and determine whether you have a case. For a free initial consultation, you can contact us online or by phone.

CALL US TODAY! 212-545-1199