Portal-to-Portal Pay: Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk

In October, the Supreme Court heard arguments for Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk. The case deals with workers hired by a temp agency (Integrity Staffing Solutions) to work in an Amazon.com warehouse and whether they should be paid for time they spend waiting to go through a security screening at the end of the day. On December 9, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the workers don’t have to be paid.

History, Terms, Etc.

Fair Labor Standards Act – In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, a law that established the forty-hour work week, established a national minimum wage, guaranteed “time-and-a-half” for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most child labor.

Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. – In this 1946 Supreme Court case, the Court held that “preliminary work activities” that were controlled by the employer and performed for the employer’s benefit, are included as working time under FLSA. This was disastrous because the Supreme Court ruled so broadly that nearly all time spent on the employer’s premises was compensable (i.e. walking to work from your car).

Portal-to-Portal Act – In this 1947 amendment to FLSA that addressed the problem of Anderson v. Mt Clemens Pottery Co., Congress specified what time was considered compensable work. The act specified that activities laborers may do on the worksite before or after their primary work duties are not a qualification for extra pay. In other words, traveling to and from the workplace is not compensable. Preliminary and postliminary activities were not compensable.

Steiner v. Mitchell – In this 1955 Supreme Court case, the Court found that workers in a plant manufacturing wet storage batteries had to be compensated for the time they took to change clothes before and after work and to shower after work in facilities, since these practices were “vital” health considerations (remember, they worked with wet storage batteries – lots of toxic materials are involved). Essentially, the Court decided that the changing and showering were preliminary and postliminary activities that were “integral” and “indispensable” parts of the principal activities for which workers would be compensated. Thus, those preliminary and postliminary activities would be exceptions to the rule and would be compensable.

So, how does the Court and the Department of Labor define “preliminary” and “postliminary” activities? In Steiner, the Court found that activities before or after the regular work shift were only compensable if they are and “integral and indispensable part of the principal activities for which workmen are employed.” In other words, unless the activity is absolutely essential to the job done, workers would not be paid for activity that isn’t the actual work. In the Steiner case, putting on the safety outfit was essential to working, thus it was a compensable activity. In another case, Mitchell v. King Packing Co., the Court found that a butcher sharpening his or her knife before cutting meat was a necessary (and thus compensable) activity because the knife has to be razor sharp in order for the butcher to properly work.

In the 2005 case IBP v. Alvarez, the Court came to a few conclusions. Workers at Iowa Beef Processors, Inc. sued for lack of compensation for a couple of activities: time spent putting on and taking off protective gear, nor the time walking to and from the changing area. The Court ruled that the time spent putting on and taking off protective gear is compensable, waiting time for putting on protective gear is not compensable (because it’s two steps away from the principal activity), and waiting time for taking off protective gear is compensable. The Court ruled that compensable work hours begin when the employer asks the employees to arrive; if they have to wait in line which cuts into their shift, they should be compensated.

The Case

In an Amazon warehouse in Las Vegas, NV, workers for the temp agency Integrity Staffing Solutions have to go through a security screening at the end of each day for which workers are not paid. The process is meant to prevent theft by workers. Workers say waiting for the screening can take 25 minutes. Jesse Busk and Laurie Castro, two of these workers, sued the temp agency for the pay they were denied. The question asked is whether the security screening (and thus waiting for it) is an integral part of the principle activities for workers – should they be paid for the time spent in them?

The Cast of “The Office” in the warehouse

The district court dismissed the workers’ claims; they found that security screenings are quintessential “preliminary” and “postliminary” activities, meaning they are non-compensable. They found that those activities were the equivalent of waiting on line to receive a pay check, an activity that is not compensable. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, ruled in favor of the employees; it declared that these activities were compensable because it was intimately tied to the nature of the workers’ work as warehouse employees, surrounded by merchandise. This created a circuit split. The Second and Eleventh Courts of Appeals both ruled that security screenings are preliminary and postliminary activities under FLSA.

This would normally be a slam dunk, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals interpreted the Steiner v. Mitchell decision to mean that compensable activities are either necessary to the principal work or “done for the benefit of the employer.” This case was different than all other cases because the work was of a different nature: instead of working in factories or plants or airports, the workers had access to merchandise (remember, they were working at an Amazon warehouse).

Why does this case matter? There are thousands of these workers making $9 to $12 an hour. Sheheryar Kaoosji of the Warehouse Workers Resource Center says, “If it’s [even] 15 minutes, that’s $3. That’s a significant amount of money.” If employees are paid for over time, each worker could be owed $1,200 per year, which really adds up when one considers that there are thousands of these workers who work for multiple years. It could add up to millions or even billions in dollars corporations lose. On the other side of the coin, according to Richard C. Hollinger, director of the Security Research Project at the University of Florida, employee theft cost retailers roughly $18 billion in 2012. “This is a hugely important case,” says Richard Alfred, a partner with Seyfarth Shaw.

This is a hugely important case.

Kaoosji also argues that the case contributes to the discussion of how we should treat workers. While the criminal treatment of workers is not being litigated, the act of forcing workers to empty pockets and pass through security screenings is certainly addressed to some degree.

Argument

The workers’ arguments are that the Supreme Court has ruled that two different types of activities are compensable: (1) employees do activities because their employer requires doing them and (2) employees do activities for practical reasons – to carry out the job they have been given. The “integral and indispensable” requirement only applies to the latter. Thus, activities that are required by employers (e.g. having to wait in a security line) are also compensable without being integral and indispensable to their job. Their argument is essentially that activities before and after their normal work that are required by employers are effectively part of their work assignment and thus compensable.

The brief went on to declare the extremes of ruling in favor of the temp agency: an employer could insist that workers mow the lawn in front of the warehouse or wash the boss’s car without compensation.

The workers went on to declare that undergoing a search does not identify who is working that day (unless, of course, there is a problem and someone was in fact stealing) which differentiates the activity from clocking in and out.

Integrity Staffing Solutions’s argument boils down to comparing waiting on security check lines to other activities that have been declared non-compensable under FLSA. These include waiting in line to punch in and punch out a time clock, walking from the parking lot to the workplace, and waiting to pick up protective gear. Integrity also contrasts the necessity of security check activity with the necessity of necessary, and thus compensable, activities, such as sharpening a knife in the butcher case. Further, every other court, except the Ninth Circuit, has ruled as such.

Integrity’s second argument is that the Ninth Circuit misconstrued the Portal-to-Portal Act, especially the idea of a “beneficial” activity being compensable. They claim that the activities the Ninth Circuit Court found compensable were in fact compensable after Mt. Clemens but the Court ignores the subsequent Portal-to-Portal Act which clarified and narrowed the conditions for compensable work.

Integrity has also received support via briefs filed by various government organizations and trade groups. The workers received support via briefs filed by AFL-CIO and laborer rights lawyers.

Interestingly, the Obama administration sided with the temp agency, not the workers. The Departments of Justice and Labor filed a brief that clarified that 1947 law and claimed it supported the temp agency. While many would seem confused by the administration’s stance against increasing workers’ wages which is normally a strong policy position for Obama, examining the administration’s brief provides the answer. It’s because the administration, from a business standpoint, is structured in the same way as Integrity Staffing Solutions in that it requires physical security checks. The administration is fearful of a lawsuit.

Following oral argumentation, Amazon released a statement declaring that data shows the wait time is minimal, if anything. Amazon almost never comments on litigation surrounding the company so the statement is quite unusual. It seems that Amazon was at least nervous about the case.

Oral Argumentation

Paul Clement, arguing on behalf of Integrity, began by explaining that going through security is a quintessential “postliminary” activity that would be non-compensable under the Portal-to-Portal Act.

Kagan gave him a hypothetical: an employer with cash registers has a long process for closing out the cash registers to protect against theft. That process could take twenty minutes. It’s the same with casino dealers or bank tellers. She asked what makes this example different than the one at hand, in the warehouse.

Clement countered that he’s not sure the relevance of that hypothetical because that work could in fact be compensable as it might be considered “winding down” activities. That’s a very specific case that hasn’t really been addressed before that might not easily fit into the categories of “preliminary” and “postliminary.”

Justice Scalia seemed to be convinced that closing the cash register is simply part of the job while going through a security check isn’t part of the job. Clement agreed.

Justice Kennedy, however, said that Kagan’s hypothetical seemed to declare that the security process was just for anti-theft purposes and if that was the case, then the two cases (the hypothetical and the actual case) would seem to be the same.

Clement claimed that while previous disputes over interpretation of FLSA have centered over activities that occur within the work station, the Ninth Circuit ruling is the first time the Court has ruled an activity outside of the work station as compensable.

Kagan claimed that this argument turned the case into one of complete chance: really it just depended on where people happened to be that made an activity compensable or non-compensable, even though it could be the same activity.

Clement agreed that there are some arbitrary parts of the Portal-to-Portal Act simply because of the nature of the act – it has a lot to do with walking time. Clement also argued that this case was easier to decide than the hypothetical because the exit screening was easily identifiable as a part of the exit process.

Justice Ginsburg asked if the time spent mattered. That is, did it matter that workers had to wait 25 minutes rather than, perhaps, 20, or 15.

Clement’s response was multifaceted: first, according to the Portal-to-Portal Act, the time of the non-compensable activity doesn’t matter – this has been proven in a couple of cases. Second, it’s not a uniform 25 minutes: workers at the front of the line wait far less than those at the end.

Sotomayor asked Clement to define “principal activity.” She asked, “Isn’t a principal activity work that benefits the employer in some way?”

Clement said no. FLSA defines work very broadly – minimum exertion of energy for the employer’s benefit. But principal activities are defined more narrowly and require more to prove. Under FLSA, work that is preliminary or postliminary is presumed to be non-compensable unless it is proven to be integral and indispensable to the principal activity, in which case it is compensable.

Justice Kennedy returned to Ginsburg’s question: he asked if hiring fewer security check workers, which made the lines longer, was for the benefit of the employers.

Clement responded that that might be true, but that’s not a relevant consideration because what the employer could have done does not affect the preliminary/postliminary/principal status of the activity at hand.

Scalia agreed: he said employers could move plants closer to workers’ houses so it would take less time for the workers to get there but that would be costly for the employer. Similarly, the employer could hire more security employees but that would be costly.

Kennedy then asked if it was irrelevant if the work was for or not for the benefit of the employers.

Clement said yes, at least for analysis about the Portal-to-Portal Act. It’s not totally irrelevant; that’s what makes the activity work (albeit non-compensable work). But ultimately, even if the activity is work, required by and for the benefit of the employer, it’s not necessarily compensable.

Sotomayor countered: the Court has ruled that the time to put on protective equipment is compensable.

Clement said that the Court has never had a case in which they ruled that just because an employer requires something that would otherwise be superfluous that it becomes indispensable and thus compensable. He went on to say that non-integral activity that would be mandated by the employer is non-compensable. He points to activities like clocking in and out which are both required by and for the benefit of employers, yet precedent shows that they are not compensable.

Justice Breyer asked about the origin of the word indispensable – why is that the standard point out in this case?

Clement responded that that word came from the Court’s decision in Steiner.

Breyer and Clement had a back-and-forth in which they discussed whether an activity could have been done better would thus automatically be considered postliminary.

Clement ended the exchange by claiming that the employer could run the facility without the security process, making it not mandatory.

Kagan countered by reminding Clement of the temp agency’s client: Amazon. The nature of Amazon’s business requires knowing its merchandise which requires the security check at the end.

Clement disagreed. It wouldn’t be indispensable to keep tabs on every product in the warehouse via the security process because that product may not have even had the barcode attached to it in the first place if the worker who was supposed to attach it stole the product.

Scalia argued that clocking in and out is equally important to the employer so that it knows which workers worked and for what times, yet the Court would never consider making clocking in and out a compensable activity.

Clement responded that the security screenings were the “modern analogue” of the clocking in and out process: they verify that the employees are working fairly and behaving honestly. The security screenings are also a natural part of the exiting process. If the Court were to adjust the Portal-to-Portal Act to include these screenings as non-compensable, it’s not clear what would be left of the law, considering that Congress wrote the law this way in order to prevent cases like this from happening. And while it might be rational to have that sort of system, Congress amended that system with the Portal-to-Portal Act.

Curtis E. Gannon, representing the United States as a supporting petitioner, argued that according to the Portal-to-Portal Act, postliminary activities would be non-compensable.

Ginsburg asked Gannon to elaborate on a point in the government’s brief that described potentially compensable searches.

Gannon replied that that footnote claimed the employer couldn’t just add a lot of activities after work and call them postliminary but there weren’t any mentions of compensable searches. He went on to say that for a search to be compensable, it would have to be so extensive and time consuming that it fundamentally changes the nature of the search. An example is a drug test but that is not what is considered in this case.

Kagan asked if it would be a better idea to just have a Door-to-Door test: that compensable activity starts when one enters the facility and ends when one exits.

Gannon said no: it has to be more precise and complicated. After all, the Door-to-Door test is what caused Congress to enact the Portal-to-Portal Act in the first place.

Kennedy asked if it was possible to decide this case without thinking about whether the activity is beneficial for the employer.

Gannon said no – that’s the presumption here anyway. The question of whether or not the work is preliminary or postliminary still affirms that the activity is work; it’s just a question of whether it’s compensable.

Kagan brought up another hypothetical: a judge has clerks to read briefs and perform their normal clerk tasks but also requires them to cut his grapefruit in the morning (I just want to add that I am currently wearing multiple breakfast-themed clothing by total chance). Would that be compensable?

Gannon said yes because the grapefruit cutting was neither preliminary nor postliminary activities.

Breyer asked if we knew all the facts about the case because normally, when dealing with a worker complaint, the Labor Department would create a summary of facts and decide the policy from there.

Gannon said it was unnecessary to send the case back because the important facts were made apparent.

Kagan, Breyer, and Gannon engage in an old debate about whether or not this activity is integral.

Mark Thierman, representing the workers, begins his oral argument by claiming he just has to prove that the security check is a principal activity, not that it is indispensable and integral because those are just ways of determining whether the activity is a principle one.

Justice Alito asks if he has abandoned the “indispensable and integral” argument, to which Thierman responds he has simply put it in another place. He has to prove it’s a principal activity. Essentially, he’s flipped the tables: instead of presuming activities are not principal, unless they are (by proving they are), we should presume activities are principal, unless they are not (by proving they are not). So the “exceptions” to the rule would be activities like travel and clocking in and out.

Roberts, Scalia, and Thierman have an exchange about the nature of certain jobs and the requirements they have. For instance, as described by Scalia, a part of a policeman’s job is to wear a uniform and look like a policeman, but a part of a warehouseman’s job is not to not steal things.

Thierman says that keeping track of products and making sure they are not displaced is part of their job and thus a security check, which keeps products in their place, is part of their job.

Roberts asks Thierman what the meaning of “principal” means in the context of activities. Thierman says that it may not have to be overwhelmingly important to the job, just one of its duties.

Scalia says that this activity is not what people are hired for. An employer doesn’t hire a worker to check in and check out. Thierman responds that going through the security check is indispensable to keeping one’s job. But, as Scalia points out, so is checking in and out, which are not compensable. Thierman claims this is a separate function.

Kagan says the function of the Portal-to-Portal Act was to delineate between ingress and egress policies (going in and out) and actual work. Thierman says that by that standard everything is part of the egress policy because (somewhat morbidly if you think about it) everything is leading to the workers’ exit.

Breyer claims that in these cases, justices ought to look at the Labor Department rules. And according to the Labor Department, the workers lose.

Ginsburg also asks about donning and doffing gear. Thierman says that the way out is different than the way in; it’s its mirror opposite. In other words, coming in favors the employer and coming out favors the employee.

Roberts proposes that this problem may be solved by collective bargaining, but Thierman responds that (a) this problem isn’t too common and (b) many of these workers aren’t unionized.

Thierman clarifies that the Portal-to-Portal Act didn’t get rid of all of Mt. Clemens; a lot of it survives and should thus be still considered. He says that the problem is that the employer chose this method which wouldn’t be compensable, but other ways of checking for theft that might occur at workstations would be compensable. Thierman also claims that the laying out of work for other people is compensable act which this may fall under. Thierman argues that it’s alright for employers to make their employees wait and be paid for that waiting. The employers are not doing absolutely pertinent activity yet they’re being paid.

Scalia asks if a five minute wait would mean anything. Thierman says it’s de minimis – it wouldn’t amount to anything.

In an exchange with Breyer, Thierman makes the argument that this security check is like changing clothes for an employer if it happens in the work location. That activity would be compensable. Thierman says that the most comparable scenario is a drug test, which happens on the way out and could take a long time if an individual fails the test. Drug tests are compensable.

Thierman says all these rules and regulations are in the 785 series of the Department of Labor regulations.

Thierman also says that seminars required by the employers, which may be absolutely essential to the job task (e.g. sexual harassment training) are compensable activities.

Breyer asks what makes the security check different than checking out. Thierman says workers don’t have to check out twice. Analogously, workers aren’t compensated for the time waiting to check in but are compensated for the roll call time after that.

Clement, arguing at the end, says that drug testing is not analogous because it’s not a part of the exiting process.

Kagan says that employers could interpret drug testing to be part of the egress process.

Clement says no: drug tests are not covered because they’re postliminary activities, they’re just mandatory processes.

Clement says that it’s important to ask whether the activities are indispensable and integral because those are relevant questions to determine what is principal work.

Clement also discusses Kagan’s original hypothetical statement as describes it as “waiting to engage” rather than being “engaged to wait,” coded in compensation law as two different activities.

Decision

Ed Lee, a law professor at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, uses question counts to predict the winners of cases. Busk was asked 51 questions, while Integrity Staffing was asked 27 and the Solicitor General supporting Integrity Staffing was asked 13. Busk was asked 11 more questions, suggesting that Busk is more likely to lose.

The Court ruled 9-0 on December 9, 2014, to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s decision. In other words, waiting in line for the security screening is not compensable. Justice Thomas wrote the decision. Justice Sotomayor wrote a concurring opinion, which Justice Kagan joined.

The Court’s decision focused on what “integral and indispensable” work would be: it has to be absolutely central to why the workers were hired in the first place and a key part of completing that job.

An activity is therefore integral and indispensable to the principal activities that an employee is employed to perform if it is an intrinsic element of those activities and one with which the employee cannot dispense if he is to perform his principal activities.

The decision argues that this is consistent with Department of Labor regulations and definitions.

The decision goes on to list several examples of cases concerning activities that would satisfy this requirement. Battery-plant employees showering and changing clothes because chemicals are toxic to human beings, and because the employer conceded that the activities were indispensable, is compensable. A meatpacker employee sharpening his or her knife is a compensable act because knife quality affects the quality of the meat. The Court has also decided that the time waiting to put on clothes in non-compensable because it was two steps removed from the principal activity.

The decision goes on to say that the security screenings were a postliminary activity because they were not integral; they were not the principal activity that the employee is hired to perform. In other words, Jesse Busk was not hired to go through a security screening. He was hired to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and package those products for shipment. The screenings were also not indispensable; Integrity Staffing could eliminate the security screenings without impairing the employees’ ability to work.

The decision says that the Appeals Court made a mistake because it focused on whether the employer mandated the activity. Any activity that an employer requires of its employees is work but it is not necessarily integral and indispensable. And only those activities that are integral and indispensable are compensable. Compensation for any required activity was exactly what the Portal-to-Portal Act sought to prevent.

The decision rejects the de minimis argument – just because an employer could reduce the time it takes for the security screening to happen does not change the nature of that activity; it’s still the same activity. Plus, as Thomas reasons, increasing the amount of security screeners is something the Court shouldn’t mandate; it should be something decided at the bargaining table between the employer and employees.

Sotomayor’s concurring decision differs in her understanding of the standards that the Court uses. She believes that “integral and indispensable” activities must be those without which an employee could not perform another principal activity safely and effectively. In other words, in the wet battery manufacturing example, the changing process is indispensable because while workers could work without changing, it would not be safe. In the butcher case, the butcher could work without sharpening the knife, but the work would be ineffective.

The second part of Sotomayor’s decision argues that the security screenings were part of the exiting process and thus should be considered a postliminary activity rather than a principal activity. She says the Department of Labor reached this conclusion and made this type of activity not compensable.

So What?

There are a number of reasons why this case and decision matters:

First, according to Alfred B. Robinson, Jr., the former acting Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, the decision massively helps corporations protect their inventory and complete security screenings. Companies don’t have to worry about the extra cost of these procedures from compensating their employees. It will better secure profits for companies.

Second, the decision allows employers to better understand which activities required of its workers are compensable and which are not. Thomas’s and Sotomayor’s written opinions provide a litany of examples of other activities that would be or not be compensable, setting a broad precedent and guiding employers long into the future.

Third, Thomas’s decision gives employees the green light to negotiate compensation with employers at the bargaining table, presumably through collective bargaining. Of course, this collective bargaining is restricted to unionized workers (and most of the Integrity Staffing employees are not), but since the case sets a wide precedent, employees in other fields may now be more motivated to carry out such negotiations.

Last, this ruling is a part of the broader trend of the increasing corporate-friendliness of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Robert’s Court, in particular, has increasingly ruled in favor of businesses and against workers. Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk is far from the most outlandish or monumental decision, but it’s certainly part of a larger trend.

Read On

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s Opinion

Integrity Staffing Solution’s Brief

AFL-CIO’s Brief in favor of Busk

Chamber of Commerce’s Brief in favor of Integrity Staffing Solutions

The Obama Administration’s Brief in favor of Integrity Staffing Solutions

Oral Argument can be read here and heard here.

The decision can be read here.

Diane M. Saunders, shareholder of the Boston office of Ogletree Deakins, lists the case as one that retailers should watch: “Seven Key Supreme Court Cases for Retailers to Watch” – October 2, 2014

Bill Blum, contributor to TruthDig and former judge, describes the case in the context of the Supreme Court’s recent tendency to support corporate interests: “The Return of the Corporate Court” – October 2, 2014

Steven Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times, previews the case: “Justices Weighing Wages for After-Work Screenings” – October 3, 2014

Spencer Soper, Sophia Pearson, and Greg Stohr, reporters for Bloomberg, describe the case and general warehouse worker litigation: “Amazon Workers Take Security-Line Woes to Supreme Court” – October 6, 2014

Megan McArdle, a Bloomberg View columnist, argues that the Supreme Court should rule in favor of the workers: “Pay Amazon Workers for Standing in Line” – October 6, 2014

Lyle Denniston, writer for SCOTUSBlog, gives an argument preview on that website: “Argument preview: Theft and workers’ wage rights” – October 7, 2014

Lyle Denniston, writer for SCOTUSBlog, analyzes oral arguments in the case: “Argument analysis: What is work, anyway?” – October 8, 2014

Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent for the New York Times, describes the case: “Court Hears Case on Pay for Amazon Workers Screened After Work” – October 8, 2014

Nina Totenberg, NPR’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, covers oral argumentation on The Two-Way Blog at NPR: “Justices Will Decide Whether Workers Must Endure Unpaid Inconvenience” – October 8, 2014

E. Tammy Kim, former judicial clerk and current staff writer for al-Jazeera America, covers the case on The Scrutineer: “Supreme Court weighs worker pay for time spent in ‘security checks’” – October 8, 2014

Daniel Fisher, senior editor at Forbes, covers oral argument and explains why it’s unlikely for the workers to win: “Arguments Go Poorly For Amazon Workers Seeking Pay For Search Time” – October 8, 2014

Noah Feldman, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, compares the case to the coal mining cases of the 1940s and explains why the wage fight will never go away on Bloomberg View: “Amazon Workers Are Today’s Coal Miners” – October 8, 2014

Danny Vinik, staff writer at the New Republic, examines the Obama administration’s anti-wage position at the New Republic: “Obama Is Siding Against Workers at the Supreme Court” – October 8, 2014

Ross Eisenbrey, Michigan Law School ’78 and Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute, examines the Obama administration’s position on The Economic Policy Institute Blog: “Why is the Obama Administration on the Wrong Side of a Wage and Hour Case?” – October 8, 2014

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board calls for the Court to rule in favor of the workers: “Pay workers for time spent at security checkpoint” – October 8, 2014

Erik Sherman comments on Amazon’s statement after oral argumentation on CBS MoneyWatch: “Why Amazon is nervous about Supreme Court case” – October 10, 2014

Scott Lemieux, professor of political science at the College of Saint Rose, criticizes the Obama administration for siding with Integrity Staffing Solutions in The Week: “Obama is siding with Amazon at the Supreme Court. It’s both illogical and inhumane.” – October 15, 2014

John Herrman comments on the case and larger problems of workplace ethics and Amazon’s efficiency system in The Awl: “How Amazon Solved the Problem of Work” – October 21, 2014

Lyle Denniston reports on the decision at SCOTUSBlog: “Opinion analysis: No overtime pay for after-work security check” – December 9, 2014

Adam Liptak reports on the decision in the New York Times: “Supreme Court Rules Against Worker Pay for Screenings in Amazon Warehouse Case” – December 9, 2014

Nina Totenberg reports on the decision on NPR: “Supreme Court Rules Employers Are Not Required To Pay For Security Time” – December 9, 2014

Jaclyn Belczyk, JURIST‘s research director, reports on the decision: “Supreme Court rules employees not entitled to overtime pay for post-shift security screening” – December 9, 2014

Daniel Fisher reports on the decision in Forbes: “Amazon Workers Lose At Supreme Court On Security-Screening Time” – December 9, 2014

Hera S. Arsen, Managing Editor of Ogletree Deakins‘s publications, reports on the case, decision, and implications: “Supreme Court Rules Security Screenings Are Not ‘Integral and Indispensable’ to Principal Activities and Thus Not Compensable” – December 9, 2014

Noah Feldman criticizes the decision and offers another interpretation of “principal activity” on Bloomberg View: “Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand Wage Labor” – December 9, 2014

Scott Martelle, writer for the Los Angeles Times, criticizes the decision and calls on Congress to write new laws to redefine compensable work: “Supreme Court tells Amazon workers no pay for shift-end screenings

Moshe Z. Marvit, Fellow at The Century Foundation, criticizes the decision on In These Times: “SCOTUS Rules Workers Don’t Need To Be Paid for All Their Time Working” – December 10, 2014

Steven Mazie, Professor of Political Studies at BHSEC-Manhattan and Supreme Court Correspondent for the Economist, comments on the Justices’ privilege in professions and how it may have affected their decision at Big Think: “Are Supreme Court Justices Too Privileged to Understand Average Americans?” December 12, 2014

Elizabeth Washko, Managing Shareholder at Ogletree Deakins and expert on labor law, outlines the impact of the decision on retailers at Ogletree Deakins’s Blog: “What’s Next For Retailers After Integrity Staffing?” – December 14, 2014

This post has been edited.

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