A unanimous Supreme Court decision issued today declared that Amazon warehouse workers who are forced to stand in line for security checks upon leaving their worksite are no longer on the clock, and thus the time spent in line is not compensable.

Amazon requires those who work in its warehouses to go through security checks on the way out to ensure they haven’t pilfered any products.

Warehouse workers eventually banded together and filed a lawsuit against Integrity Staffing Solutions, the company that provides both the personnel and warehouse space for Amazon, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its pay and overtime standards. The group sought double damages, back pay and overtime as compensation.

In April 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that “security clearances are necessary to employees’ primary work as warehouse employees,” meaning the employees were eligible for compensation while standing in line.

Upon review, the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling: “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.”

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