Court rules on compensation of employees’ on-site security screening time

Oregon Supreme Court Rules State Wage Law Same as Federal Wage Law for Compensation of Employees’ On-Site Security Screening Time
December 15, 2022
By Heather J. Van Meter
Bullard Law,

On December 15, the Oregon Supreme Court held that state wage law is the same as federal wage law for purposes of determining whether employee time spent in on-site security screenings is to be paid work time. The court, responding to a Ninth Circuit-certified question, rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that Oregon wage law should be read more broadly to require compensation for workers’ time spent in on-site security screenings. Read the opinion here.

The case decision comes amidst significant litigation and federal and state agency attention on wage and hour laws, including compensation for many types of routine pre- and post-work tasks such as putting on uniforms, logging onto computers, and similar regular worker tasks. According to the Oregon Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision, like the federal Fair Labor Standards Act as amended, Oregon state law only requires workers be paid for on-site security screenings if the screenings are: (a) an integral and indispensable part of the employee’s principal activities; or (b) compensable based on contract, custom, or practice. In so holding, the Oregon Supreme Court expressly followed the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 574 U.S. 27 (2014).

The Oregon Supreme Court specifically noted that the Oregon Legislature could now choose to amend state law to require compensation for worker time spent in on-site security screenings. Bullard Law will continue to monitor this topic, especially in the upcoming 2023 Oregon Legislature session.

The content of this Alert is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be considered legal advice or financial advice or used as a substitute for consulting an attorney for legal advice.

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