Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled that companies are not obliged to pay employees for the time they spend undergoing security checks at the end of their shifts.
The case presenting the issue of overtime pay involved the elite online marketplace Amazon.com and employees of a company in Nevada responsible for processing and shipping amazon purchases. Specifically, the employees of the Nevada company had sued the company for back wages and overtime pay. They claimed that they should have been compensated for time spent in security screenings. While the employees claimed that such screenings, designed to prevent against theft, took up to 30-minutes, Amazon maintained, that the screening process is designed to take 90-seconds per employee.
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The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case (Young v. UPS, 12-1226) that has the potential to affect how pregnant workers are accommodated in the workplace.
The case involves popular package and parcel shipping company, UPS, and a female employee who had been working as a driver in Landover, Maryland. After becoming pregnant in 2006, the employee submitted a doctor’s note backing her request for a temporary assignment to avoid lifting heavy packages.
UPS declined to accommodate the employee and doctor’s request, reiterating its policy that drivers must be able to lift packages weighing up to 70 pounds.
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The Supreme Court recently ruled that lump sum severance payments made to laid-off employees can be subject to FICA taxes. This overrules a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court, which ruled that such payments did not have to be taxed.
In the case of U.S. v. Quality Stores, the store claimed $1 million in FICA tax refunds when it laid off thousands of employees after entering bankruptcy in 2001. In the fall of 2012, the Sixth Circuit ruled that the severance was not subject to FICA taxes.
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