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Amazon sued over 20-minute, unpaid, daily security searches of workers

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Pennsylvania man who works for Internet retail giant Amazon says the company is taking advantage of workers by putting them through daily security checks that last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes — and eat into unpaid hours, before work, after work and during lunch breaks.

He's kicked off a class-action suit against the company, filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and alleging violations of the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, NBC reported.

Lead plaintiff Neal Heimbach, from Allentown, Pa., has worked in the company's warehouse in Breinigsville for nearly three years. His complaint is that daily, nearly 100 workers at the facility are forced to undergo security searches without pay — that take place during times when they're officially off-the-clock, NBC said.

Their daily routine, NBC reported: Walk through metal detectors at the start of shifts and undergo wand screening, which takes between 10 to 20 minutes to finish. Do the same at the end of work shifts — and again, after clocking out for their 30-minute lunch breaks.

Mr. Heimbach finally said enough is enough. Employees should be on paid company time for the lengthy security checks, he said. Amazon, for its part, said paying workers for the security checks is unheard of, NBC reported.

"Defendants have never paid warehouse workers for time spent processing through this required post-shift screening process prior to exiting the Amazon Fulfillment Center," court documents filed by the company stated. "As a result of the compensation practice utilized by defendants, warehouse workers are not compensated for all time during which they were required to be on the premises of the Amazon Fulfillment Center."

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