The U . s . States Top Court Clarifies Limitations of Compensable Time Under FLSA


The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) mandates that employees be compensated for those work and receive overtime purchase work that belongs to the employee’s “principal activities” beyond 40 hrs per week. However, the FLSA also claims that employers don’t have to compensate employees for work performed just before or following the employee’s “principal activities.” (Also called “preliminary” or “postliminary” work.)

In the past, the road between what jobs are compensable and just what jobs are not is responsible for some confusion, because “principal activities” isn’t clearly based on the statute. Furthermore, courts haven’t uniformly construed the saying. Fortunately for employers, the final Court lately provided a solution .

In Integrity Staffing Solutions, Corporation. v. Busk, 135 S. Ct. 513 (2014), a legal court articulated a brand new test for figuring out whether preliminary or postliminary work belongs to an employee’s principal activities and for that reason compensable. Employers need to comprehend this test because courts uses it later on to assist decide disputes regarding overtime pay.

Integrity provides nationwide warehouse staffing for Amazon . Included in a regular routine, Integrity needed all employees to endure a burglar screening after clocking out. Employees would wait to feed metal detectors. Two employees sued Integrity, alleging these were titled to overtime payment for that time they spent every day dealing with security, that they stated was around 25 minutes.

A Legal Court unanimously made the decision the workers weren’t titled to overtime because dealing with security wasn’t part of their principal activities. In the explanation, a legal court first reiterated that principal activities include all activities which are “integral and indispensable.” Then your Court gave employers a 2-part test:

To find out whether a task is part of an employee’s principal activities, the business should ask itself (1) may be the activity something the business hired the worker to complete? and (2) is the employer get rid of the activity without impairing the employee’s capability to complete the work they do?

When the solutions to those questions are yes, the business likely doesn’t have to pay for overtime for that activity under consideration.

In ruling for Integrity, a legal court described the workers weren’t hired to endure security screenings-these were hired to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and also to package individuals products for shipment. Integrity Staffing might have eliminated the screenings altogether without impairing the employees’ capability to complete the work they do, stated a legal court. Because the screenings weren’t an element of the employees’ principal activities, they weren’t titled to compensation on their behalf.

Capability to Pay Price of Accelerating a task does not matter

One argument elevated within the matter was that Integrity ought to be responsible for overtime pay because Integrity saved on personnel costs by electing to not set up a more effective security screening procedure that might have eliminated any claim for overtime. A Legal Court rejected this reasoning, saying such budgetary factors would be the domain of collective bargaining, and not the FLSA.


Integrity Staffing is a vital decision for employers because it possesses a test for figuring out whether a company is needed to pay for overtime for particular activities that occur at the start and finish during the day. Employers are in possession of a concrete test to make use of to find out if certain activities are compensable:

1. May be the activity something the business hired the worker to complete?

2. Is the employer get rid of the activity without impairing the employee’s capability to complete the work they do?

If the solution to these two is “yes,” the business is probably within the obvious. Otherwise, the business might be responsible for having to pay overtime.



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