Amazon employees wait up to 30 minutes at end of day without pay



Can they leave without going through the security check? Then they should be paid. Otherwise, it sounds like false imprisonment.


Stop working 30 minutes earlier and go wait in line.


This is part of the job (assuming that amazon told them about it when they were hired), so they should just weigh this against the drags and perks of another job they could have chosen instead.


Or, Amazon could stop being a dick.

EDIT: Apparently, it’s a third party staffing contractor, but it’s still Amazon being a dick by proxy.


If you don’t want to spend the time waiting to pick up your paycheck, you don’t have to, you still earned and are entitled to that money, it just might have to be mailed to you. Waiting is an optional thing you’re doing for convenience.

If you have to wait in line to punch out, aren’t you actually getting paid for the time, since your rate is determined by when you punch in/out? Punching in, yes, but seriously, if you have to wait in a line for 30 minutes to punch in to work, the employer’s doing something wrong.

Walking to/from the parking lot can be considered part of the commute, which isn’t compensated for… you’re going to be travelling anyway… it’s not the responsibility of the employer how you accomplish it. Presumably, if you teleported they’d be okay with that.

If you have to wait to in a line to retrieve protective equipment (assuming it’s not an option to just bring it from home), you absolutely should be compensated for that, IMHO.

A security check is presumably non-optional without getting fired. That makes it a job duty, not an added inconvenience.


So why does BoingBoing always put links to Amazon when they post about a book or movie? Like just today, the Great Maps post takes to the Amazon page for the book, not the publisher’s.


With the exception of being paid to walk from your parking spot to your workspace, shouldn’t you be paid for all of those things? The FLSA seems like a crazy bit of legislation…


“Security screenings are indistinguishable from many other tasks that have been found non-compensable under the FLSA, such as waiting to punch in and out on the time clock, walking from the parking lot to the work place, waiting to pick up a paycheck, or waiting to pick up protective gear before donning it for a work shift,”

I take it that’s in the US only, as I doubt that is acceptable in the EU. Especially the waiting for PPE (protective gear) essential to your work. America does treat it’s own citizens very badly sometimes.

Also, since when is “up to” equivalent to “over”, seems to be used interchangeably in this article?


That’s not a judicial opinion or a court ruling, but an attorney filing a brief on behalf of a client, a client who is (presumably) paying him very well to argue against paying workers.


This sounds like it should be covered under something like “Walk Time.”


Reminds me a bit of the ‘half-hour for the queen’ thing that upsets the police.

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Good link.

I suppose the difference here is that “walk time” is a benefit that has been negotiated by a strong union, whereas the employees who are waiting in line to escape an Amazon fulfillment center are hired by a staffing contractor, and almost certainly cannot organize a union.


Well, I hope amazon keeps in mind just how much this sends a “do not work for us in the warehouse!” message to anyone who would otherwise consider it.

There’s legal policy, and then there’s clockwatching. One of these things is not like the other.

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Whether they get their paycheck that day or have it mailed, they still will be forced to go through the security check. The probably instituted the “pass the check to get your pay” rule to get people to wait there.

There was a supreme court case a number of years ago where they ruled that workers do have to be paid for the time it takes for them to start up equipment at the beginning of a shift and properly shut it down at the end. How is this different?


I drive 15mins to work, which I would love to be compensated for.
And then I have to wait 30 mins up to 1:30 hrs after normal 8hr shift for other duties, that I don’t get paid for :((
Good luck

None of the things that Amazon claims fall in the same category have ever taken a half-hour at any job I’ve ever had, or heard of.

If they did, some of those would be considered a logistical problem worth solving with a result of improved efficiency = related costs savings, regardless of whether the employee were paid for that time.

1/2 hour wait for any of those, excepting waiting for a paycheque, would be considered ridiculous in most cases.

& I vehemently disagree with the last example, waiting for protective gear before donning it to work should be paid time if the worker is required to be there to keep operations seamless by being instantly available when the gear becomes available at or near a shift change.

Employers often believe (or fool themselves into believing) that no one should be on the clock until the worker is actually actively engaged in their specific task, but that isn’t employment & isn’t feasible much of the time.

Problem here: Amazon has precisely no incentive to correct this situation which causes the employees to have to wait an onerous 30 minutes to prevent a bit of theft. None. The reason the wait is so long is Amazon’s attempt to keep the costs of the security check down. This delay does not affect Amazon’s operations.

The only way to force Amazon to correct the situation, & to stop stealing life from the overwhelming majority of their employees, since usually it is just a small minority that do steal unless other problems are present, is either force them to pay employees for the Amazon-caused delay, or continually file lawsuits and complaints until the cost to streamline the security check is seen as the companies best option.

If Amazon is experiencing such high levels of theft that they believe such a draconian measure is required, I would be willing to wager that they have a large number of labour-related problems, including things like sub-standard pay, unpaid overtime, low to no benefits, a created overabundance of part-time positions at the expense of full-time positions, an ineffective grievance system, if there is one, & other problems that would pretty much all be Amazon-created, creating working poor.

AFAIC, working poor stealing from employers that create working poor should be considered a legitimate self-initiated perk of such employment.


The FLSA has been significantly damaged by generations of well funded legal attacks by large employers seeking to undermine the purpose of the act.


I often have a 15 min walk from the car park to the office. I just get the time back by reading BB. :slight_smile:


When I was a nurse, we had to count narc drawers, and do report with the other shifts. It was paid. Same difference. You can’t leave your shift until the drawers are counted, and you hand off the keys. Nurses get paid.