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Reuters reports that a proposed class action suit has been filed in Colorado federal court, accusing Amazon of "failing to pay warehouse workers for time spent undergoing COVID-19 screenings before clocking in at work" and "claiming the company made workers wait in long lines to answer questions and have their temperatures checked."

According to the story, "The proposed class includes more than 10,000 people at five Colorado warehouses … The complaint says that beginning in March 2020 Amazon required employees at Colorado warehouses to arrive early, wait in lines outside the facilities, and then answer questions and check their temperature once they were inside. The process generally took 20 to 60 minutes, according to the lawsuit.

"That time is compensable under Colorado law, which says workers must be paid when they are required to be on their employer's premises or on duty, according to the suit."

While Amazon has not responded to this specific suit, the company "has argued in a similar lawsuit in California federal court that because the screenings primarily benefit workers, they do not amount to compensable time under federal wage law.

"Walmart has raised the same defense in a proposed class action in Arizona federal court claiming the retail giant's failure to pay employees for time spent in COVID screenings violated state law."

KC's View:

Wait a minute.

Covid screenings before working in a warehouse primarily benefit workers?

Really?  Because it seems to me that if an infected person goes to work in a warehouse and infects a lot of other people, decimating the workforce, it could have a pretty profound impact on the retailers' ability to deliver on their promises to customers.

Sure, workers benefit from being tested.  But let's not labor under the delusion that these tests were offered as some sort of selfless act on the part of the warehouse.

We write here often about the difference between treating employees like a cost and treating them like an asset.  Seems to me that this is a prime example of how tell employees that they are simply commodities that can be replaced.