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Lawsuit filed against Amazon on behalf of employees

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 08 2013 04:05:39 PM CDT
UPPER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Amazon on behalf of its warehouse employees, challenging the company's anti-theft policy that does not pay them for the time they must spend to be checked for stealing.

The suit was filed Friday by Atty. Peter Winebrake of Dresher, Montgomery County.

It was filed on behalf of Neil Heimbach, a three-year employee at Amazon who resides in Lower Macungie Township, and others who work in the company's distribution warehouse in Upper Macungie Township.

It maintains Amazon's warehouse workers are not getting paid for time they spend going through a mandatory screening process after their paid shift.

Amazon requires everyone to get checked as they leave to make sure they are not stealing. Winebrake said that occurs after workers have clocked out for the day.

Under Pennsylvania law, said the lawyer, employees are entitled to be paid for all time they are required to be on the site of their employer.

Winebrake is seeking back pay for all affected Amazon workers. He's not sure how many ultimately will be included in the suit.

Heimbach told Channel 69 News that Amazon is "very demanding" and hopes the suit will result in workers getting paid for time they spend in security checkpoints as they exit the building.

Heimbach isn't sure how much time he's spent in line at the checkpoints or how much money he would be owed, but said the checkpoints are "for no benefit of the employees."

Winebrake said a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined the Fair Labor Standards Act holds that Amazon and its subcontractors should be liable.

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said Amazon does not comment on pending litigation.

The suit is one of several that have been filed against Amazon in different locations by employees who want to be paid for the off-the-clock theft checks.