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Should Workers Be Paid For Time Spent in Security Lines? Supreme Court Considers Case

Karl Baron

The first week has been a busy one for the United States Supreme Court.  

The court has had a direct impact on life in Wisconsin in a couple of ways last week. First the decision not to take up a case, and in doing so, paving the way for same-sex marriage to be legal here. And later, the court put Wisconsin’s voter ID law on hold ahead of the November election.

But the court also heard arguments in a case that could very likely impact companies and workers in Wisconsin and around the country. At issue is whether employers should be required to compensate employees for time spent standing in mandatory security lines.

It’s a case – and an issue – that professor of employment and labor law at Marquette University Paul Secunda has studied closely. He talks with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich about the impact mandatory compensation could have on the workplace.

"One of the things that is very interesting about this area is that if you require compensation when you make employees wait to do things, like going through a security device; it's very interesting what happens after you make them pay for that," Secunda say. "Things get a lot more efficient a lot quicker."

Audrey Nowakowski is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.