I’m pretty much obsessed with this case. Amazon – and the companies Amazon hires to deal with its warehouse employees – make its employees go through security screens before they leave work. The employees have to hike up to 20 minutes at the end of their physically brutal shift to get to the security line – then, they often have to wait in a backed up line – the employees get paid for none of this. So, the employees have sued, saying if you are making us hike to and wait in a security line, you ought to pay us for it. Amazon and its subs don’t want to pay. This is a nearly identical fight to one that crops up between bosses and employees every decade or so. This time the Obama Department of Labor sided with…wait for it…the bosses. And, that’s the part that’s got me reeling. What does Obama stand for if not protecting the rights of employees to be free from being forced to give away their time for free, particularly when the time suck is a disorganized and thinly staffed security line created to prove them innocent after being presumed guilty? How can small companies ever compete with the Goliaths of the business world if they are allowed to use their size and strength to extract free services? How can we ever regain the equilibrium between boss and worker when no one thinks the time and effort of workers is really valuable enough to compensate for every task demanded by a boss. Read more.
Story via NYTimes.com