Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk - Oral Argument - October 08, 2014

Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk

Media for Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - December 09, 2014 in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 08, 2014 in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

We'll hear argument first this morning in Case 13-433, Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk.

Mr. Clement.

Paul D. Clement:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

Going through security as part of the egress process is a classic postliminary activity that is non-compensable under the Portal-to-Portal Act.

It is materially similar to the process of checking out at the end of the day or waiting in line to do so, which is a quintessential postliminary activity under the Act.

The Ninth Circuit erred in treating this time as integral and indispensable to a principal activity and Respondent's position that the time is compensable without regard to whether it is an integral or indispensable activity is more problematic still.

Elena Kagan:

Mr. Clement -- excuse me -- can I give you a hypo?

Suppose that there's an employer with cash registers, and there's a very extensive process for closing out the cash registers, and that extensive process is to protect against theft.

If it weren't for that concern, you could close out a cash register much more quickly.

Or the same for bank tellers or the same for casino dealers, you know, that there's, like, a 20-minute process which is essentially an antitheft security process.

And it happens at the end of the shift when the cashier goes off duty.

What's the difference between that case and going through security in -- at Amazon?

Paul D. Clement:

Well, I think one difference is not -- I'm not crystal clear that that time would not be non-compensable because I think that's sort of the winding down period, which is, I think, with -- at least potentially within the ambit of preliminary and postliminary activities.

Elena Kagan:

Do you know, by the way?

I mean, before you get on to that, do you know how that's treated under the law?

Because I guess my assumption was that this kind of period would be treated as compensable.

But if that's not right, let me know.

Paul D. Clement:

Well, it's a problem with hypotheticals because I don't know that that particular case has arisen.

I would think that would be actually a close question under the Act, because you do have this notion under the Portal-to-Portal Act that preliminary activities and postliminary activities are non-compensable.

And that, if you go back to Mt -- Clemens, which used the term “ preliminary ”, that included the sort of wind up process and might well include this sort of wind down process at the work station.

Antonin Scalia:

Couldn't you say that closing down the cash register is part of the job?

Paul D. Clement:

You could.

Antonin Scalia:

But getting yourself inspected as you leave -- as you leave the place of business is not part of the job.

The other case where it's just part of the job.

Paul D. Clement:

You could definitely say that, Justice Scalia, and I meant to get that as the reason--

Antonin Scalia:

You could not only say it; it seems to me true.

Paul D. Clement:

--Well, all the better, then, to say it, which is that this then becomes an easier case than that because it is part of the egress process, which is really the process of getting from your--

Anthony M. Kennedy:

But part of Justice Kagan's hypothetical was that the 20 minutes or the 30 minutes is just for antitheft purposes.

Or I'll interpret her hypothetical that way.

Just for antitheft purposes.