E.D.Pa.: Time Spent Going Through Security And Walking From Security To Perform Production Work Not Compensable; Excluded By Portal-to-Portal Act

Sleiman v. DHL Express

This case was before the Court on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, based on its claims that certain activities that were the subject of Plaintiff’s “off-the-clock” claims were not compensable as a matter of law. In granting Defendant’s Motion, the Court addressed each of the the three types of activity in turn and found all three excluded by the Portal-to-Portal Act as pre- and/or postliminary in nature and not compensable “work” activity.

Defendant DHL Express operates a mail sorting facility in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, and employs about 400 sorters, yard jockeys, and others. Plaintiff is a mail worker and seeks to represent Mail Workers who have been employed by Defendant during the past three years. It was undisputed that Defendant has paid Plaintiff and prospective class members for the time that they engage in actual production activities. Pursuant to Defendant’s internal policy, Class Members are randomly selected on a daily basis to proceed through a security screening before clocking in and after clocking out. Class Members are not compensated for time spent waiting for the security screening process or for time spent clearing the security process. Class Members are also not compensated for the time it takes for them to walk from the entrance to the time clock at Defendant’s facility and the time it takes to walk from the time clock to the exit.

Plaintiff brought a two-count complaint, alleging violations of the FLSA and WPCL. Plaintiff alleged that failure to compensate Class Members for the following three activities was a violation of these statutes: (1) waiting in line to go through security screening before entering and exiting Defendant’s facility; (2) participating in the security screening itself; and (3) walking between the security screening area and time clocks where Mail Workers clock in and out. Plaintiff seeks an award of damages in the form of reimbursement for unpaid wages, costs and attorneys fees, and other equitable relief.

Citing to several cases, as well as the Portal-to-Portal Act itself, the Court granted Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.

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