Apple employee class-action lawsuit over bag checks dismissed

The class action demanded that Apple pay for the time taken in employee bag checks at stores

Apple has won a class-action lawsuit brought by employees at its California stores, who claimed that they should be compensated for time spent during bag checks for pilferage when they left the store.

District Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled Saturday that the employees had an option not to bring bags to work.

“Rather than prohibiting employees from bringing bags and personal Apple devices into the store altogether, Apple took a milder approach to theft prevention and offered its employees the option to bring bags and personal Apple devices into a store subject to the condition that such items must be searched when they leave the store,” he wrote in his order, following summary motions for judgment by both Apple and the employees.

In July, Alsup granted class-action status to the lawsuit brought by former Apple store workers. The lawsuit has been considerably whittled down since employees filed the actions against Apple in 2013. Class-action claims under various states’ labor laws and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act were dismissed after the Supreme Court ruled in another case that the FLSA did not entitle the workers for compensation during mandatory security checks.

"Because the other state law claims all mirrored the FLSA, only plaintiffs’ California claims remained," Judge Alsup wrote.

The class-action suit covered “current or former hourly-paid and non-exempt employees of Apple Inc. who worked at one or more Apple California retail stores from July 25, 2009 to the present,” according to court records.That worked out to 12,400 current and former employees at 52 stores in the state.

The issue in the wage-and-hour class action, first initiated in 2013, was whether the time Apple took to search the bags to check if its goods were being pilfered deserved compensation under California law.

In 2012, employees emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook, claiming the checks made them feel like criminals and were carried out in front of “gawking customers,” according to earlier court documents.

The employees claimed that the freedom to bring a bag to work was a "standard freedom." Apple argued in a filing last month that "put simply, if a class member voluntarily chooses to bring a duffle bag full of playing cards to work, purely for personal convenience, California law does not require Apple to pay that Class Member if Apple elects to search that duffle bag pursuant to its bag and technology check policies."

Concerned about internal theft of its products, Apple had brought into force a written policy called the “Employee Package and Bag Searches” that provided for mandatory searches of employees’ bags, purses, backpacks or briefcases whenever they left the store.

The lawyer for the employees could not be immediately contacted. The employees are exploring their options including an appeal, according to reports quoting him.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?