Supreme Court hears arguments on overtime pay, juror testimony News
Supreme Court hears arguments on overtime pay, juror testimony

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments in two cases Wednesday. In Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] the court is tasked with determining whether time spent by employees for after-hours screenings to guard against warehouse theft qualifies for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act [Department of Labor overview] as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act [DOL backgrounder, PDF]. In Wednesday’s oral argument [transcript, PDF] counsel for the employer argued [SCOTUSblog op-ed] the screenings were part of egress, akin to punching one’s time card or the changing of clothes [SCOTUSblog op-ed], and the employees should not be compensated. In opposition, the attorney for the workers asked the court to consider a two-part test to determine whether 1) the screenings are work; and further 2) whether the screenings are conducted for the employer’s benefit. The argument follows if the answer to these two questions is “yes,” then the screenings must be defined as work and the employees should be compensated.

In Warger v. Shauers [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] the issue before the court is whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) [text], which generally prohibits a juror from testifying about any statement made or incident that occurred during the jury’s deliberations, permits a party moving for a new trial based on juror dishonesty during voir dire [LII backgrounder] to introduce juror testimony to show the alleged dishonesty. Court precedent in this area is limited, with the most recent decision on rule 606(b) issued over 25 years ago. One legal scholar argues [SCOTUSblog op-ed] proving admissibility looks like an uphill battle.