Employee Bag Checks – Court Case
The California Supreme Court determined that time spent by employees while they are waiting for their bag to be searched is compensable time under California law.
What are the details?
Most California employees must be paid for the time they are under the control of their employer. In the past several years, it has been unclear to employers whether security bag check falls under compensable time, especially since most employees have clocked out when the bag check occurs. A decision was made on February 13, 2020 that the following multi-factor test was applied to this situation to determine if this activity is “employer-controlled” and, therefore, compensable:
- The mandatory nature of the activity;
- The location of the activity;
- The degree of the employer’s control;
- Whether the activity primarily benefits the employee or employer; and
- Whether the activity is enforced through disciplinary measures.
The court has made this decision effective retroactively and employers should keep in mind that the determination of this case does not only apply to security bag checks.
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review their policies regarding bag checks, or anything closely related, and consult legal counsel to determine if a change is needed.