The bag check lawsuit which had been brought against Apple by around 12,400 current and former employees has been dismissed in San Francisco, by the U.S. District Court, for the Northern District of California.
The plaintiffs, who were employed by 52 Apple stores across California, had claimed that they should be compensated for having spent time every day waiting in line, in order to be subjected to mandatory bag searches.
Initially, the lawsuit was filed in 2013 by 2 former retail workers from Los Angeles and New York, who revealed that up to 30 minutes would be lost every day during those inspections, launched in 2009.
Verifications imposed by the “Employee Package and Bag Searches” policy took place across a period of 6 years, during breaks and also at the end of the working day. Their purpose was to ensure that none of the retail employees had been smuggling any stolen items out of the shops.
The initial two accusers claimed that security checks amounted to dozens of hours of work, which would’ve meant an additional pay of $1,400 per year.
In July, the trial received class action status, as more plaintiffs supported the same allegations regarding the anti theft measures.They also demanded restitution under the Fair Labor Standards Act, stating that those daily checks qualified as overtime which had to be compensated.
The accusations however were rejected on Saturday, November 7, by District Judge William Alsup. His ruling was that the employees could’ve opted not to bring any bags at work, and therefore not have to waste that time on a daily basis.
According to him, company officials could’ve actually taken a more drastic approach, by banning staff from bringing any personal bags or Apple devices in the store.
Instead, since they did allow these products to be brought for personal convenience, it was necessary to conduct anti-theft inspections. Those who felt reluctant to participate in these bag checks could’ve chosen not to take such items with them altogether.
In response to that, employees have said that going to work with a bag, purse, briefcase of backpack is a “standard freedom”, so most likely an appeal will be made to contest the court’s decision.
Apple has finalized another lawsuit in September, when in conjunction with Adobe, Google and Intel, it accepted that it would have to pay $415 million, in an anti-poaching civil lawsuit which had claimed the tech giants had been working together so as not to hire each other’s staff members.
A similar lawsuit related to theft prevention screenings, only this time performed by Amazon, was also dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court in December.
Back then, warehouse workers had also insisted that they should be paid for the time they had to spend waiting at security check lines, but the verdict was that this activity wasn’t work-related, and shouldn’t be remunerated.
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