Apple Retail Workers File Class Action Suit on Bag Searches

Former Apple retail employees from stores in New York and Los Angeles have filed a class action lawsuit against tech giant seeking compensation for time spent waiting for their bags to be searched. Apple`s concerns about theft of devices at its retail stores amounted to employees` standing in line for up to 30 minutes and waiting for a manager to search their bags. As a result, the workers were deprived of nearly $1,500 a year in unpaid wages.

The lawsuit alleges that “Apple has engaged and continues to engage in illegal and improper wage practices that have deprived Apple Hourly Employees throughout the United States of millions of dollars in wages and overtime compensation.”

If the employees win the lawsuit, it would impact more than 12,400 current and former specialists, managers and “genius bar” employees who have worked in Apple’s 52 retail stores in California since July 25, 2009.

As the workers were hourly and they were going through security checks only when they were off the clock, they were not compensated for these procedures. The complaint claims the staffers were forced to wait typically between 10 and 15 minutes and the end of every shift, as well as another five without compensation prior to going off for “uncompensated meal breaks.” If there was a questionable item found in the employee`s bag, it was held until “it can be verified as employee-owned,” according to court documents.

The lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount of damages, claims Apple is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws in New York and California. First, it was filed in 2013, but only now it was granted class-action status today by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco. Class members participating in the lawsuit include more than 12,000 of Apple’s current and former employees in the state of California. The lead plaintiffs of the lawsuit are Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle.

Over the past two years, Apple has argued that the case should not get class-action status because not all managers conducted bag searches and that the bag searches that did happen took so little time that compensation was not necessary.

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