Oregon: Non-Integral Security Screenings are not Compensable Time


All Employers with OR Employees


December 15, 2022



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Key Takeaways

  •  Time spent in employer-required security screenings is not compensable if it is not an integral or indispensable part of the employees’ principal activities.
  •  Employers who cannot meet the above exception should compensate employees for time spent waiting for and in security screenings to avoid wage and hour violations which can include substantial penalties as well as compensatory damages.


In Buero v. Amazon.com Services, Inc., the Oregon Supreme Court stated that time spent waiting for and undergoing mandatory security screenings on employer premises is not compensable if the screenings are not integral and indispensable parts of an employee’s principal activities or are not a matter of contract, custom, or practice by the employer. Here, a warehouse employee claimed a violation of wage laws due to the time spent undergoing mandatory security screenings. Amazon screened employees at the end of a shift when workers exit the secured area of the warehouse. There were nine screening lanes with five express lanes. To expedite screenings, employees could also choose to store personal items in lockers outside the secure area.

The Court intended its ruling to be consistent with federal law which also requires compensable screenings to be either: 1) an integral and indispensable part of an employee’s principal activities; or 2) compensable as a matter of contract, custom, or practice. The Court also concluded that if the Oregon legislature intended a broad scope for compensable time, it would have done so. Oregon employers should review their preparatory and concluding activities to ensure they are not integral or indispensable to the employees’ principal activities in order to rely on this ruling.

Action Items

  1. Review security screening procedures.
  2. Update policies or handbooks to define compensable time.
  3. Have appropriate personnel trained on updated requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2023 ManagEase