Apple Retail Store employee files class action lawsuit over lost wages due to bag searches

“A full-time non-exempt Apple Store Specialist who worked at both Spokane and San Francisco over a two year period has filed a Class Action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of himself and all non-exempt employees who are employed by Apple as non-exempt Specialists, Lead Specialists and Expert Specialists and non-exempt Managers, Senior Managers, Developmental Managers and Business Managers,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Specialists and Managers are collectively referred to as Hourly Employees,” Purcher reports. “The nuts and bolts of the complaint revolve around the fact that employees that are paid hourly wages should be compensated for the time lost waiting in lines for mandatory Apple security checks every day. Considering this is a requirement by Apple, employees should be compensated. Apple was sued in a similar case in July by two former Apple Store employees from New York and Los Angeles.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple retail workers file class action suit claiming lost wages over bag searches – July 29, 2013


      1. So I should get compensated for driving to work, sitting in the traffic, walking from my car to the compan’y door, but then I would have to pay back for my coffee break, my trips to the loo (and I do that quite often,) and for talking to my wife when at work.
        C’mon, how long do they have to wait in line?

    1. No, they can’t. Federal labor law basically says “If you pay someone by the hour, you have to pay them for every hour they are doing your bidding. If they work more than 40 hours a week, you have to pay them time-and-a-half.” If you don’t pay them by the hour, salaried employees, then you have to pay them their salary every (week, month, year), even if they miss an hour or two of work.

      Some corporate HR departments spend a lot of time trying to draw the line between exempt and non-exempt employees. Apple could be a little more creative and open minded here. They aren’t a bunch of bean counters, are they?

      1. A salaried employee must be paid for a full week of work, even if s/he works only one hour out of that week. If s/he doesn’t work for a week (and it’s not other compensated time off), then the employer doesn’t have to pay him/her for that week.

      2. Actually if you read the laws, California and NY you can’t. It’s a state by state law.

        I work in a Government building. On the clock or off the clock, subject to search at any time..
        I used to work in another building that civilian employees of another company that ALSO worked in that building.. had to go through security PRIOR to and AFTER being on the clock..

        It’s common.

        1. The impetus for the Apple lawsuit was that Apple management was taking up the employees lunch hours and breaks while they waited to be searched. I worked my entire career in an industrial facility that was inside a secure perimeter. I never waited more than a few seconds for entry or exit. There were food service facilities inside the perimeter. I didn’t have to leave to get lunch. Apples act isn’t in question, it’s their execution. I can think of several ways Apple could have minimized delays, but they chose to infringe upon workers personal time rather than respect the fact they were off work. The specter of paying for time waiting in line should be enough to focus Apples attention.

      1. Uh, oh, the professor is guilty of employing the straw man argument. I could also just as easily claim that your point has no validity because you are a homely, pompous ass.

        1. MacFreek

          Wow! Such insight! Such incisive rhetoric!

          The use of “homely” pretty wins the point. But following up with “pompous” and “ass”. I can only gaze in awe at such skillful use of the English language!

          1. hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē|
            noun ( pl. hypocrisies )
            the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
            ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French ypocrisie, via ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek hupokrisis ‘acting of a theatrical part,’ from hupokrinesthai ‘play a part, pretend,’ from hupo ‘under’ + krinein ‘decide, judge.’

  1. If Apple searches an employee or employee’s bag, briefcase, purse, backpack, etc; and discovers that the employee is not stealing then that employee’s time must be compensated. Apple is adding injury to insult by their heavy-handed policy.

    1. Many companies perform searches of employee bags etc, apple is not the only one.

      Don’t like it? Go work for a company that doesn’t.

      MS may even stuff products in your bags when they search… One way to get the crap out there. lol

        1. Welcome to Apple, tool, assume the position. You don’t like me searching your personal property, eh? You want a body cavity search, too? Oh, you would like that, wouldn’t you?

          The Marines are looking for a few good men, Apple is now interested in hiring ultra-compliant, submissive sheeple with no self-respect or respect for others. Maybe you shoud apply for positionApple’s in-house in-service for security personel to digitally explore your nether regions. You seem eminently qualified as a mannequin.

      1. Wanting to work for a company that does or doesn’t do employee bag searches is one thing.

        But being paid for mandatory time is the law, and universal in the USA and Canada, and a completely separate point from your post about working for a different company.

        Whether it’s for bag searches, employee training, or iPod Scrubbing Days, if the company makes attendance mandatory, the company must pay you for your time.

    2. Long ago I worked for UPS and had to go through security checks on the way into and out of the building. After the check I had to walk across a half mile wide building before I could clock in. After the shift I clocked out, walked the half mile across the building then went through another security check. A good half hour not compensated each day in that walk and security check.
      This is normal. Heck, hourly workers in government buildings have to go through security before clocking in too.

      1. EXACTLY!

        But if someone only reads Apple related Tech Blogs.. they have zero clue.

        As someone else pointed out, Apple is one of MANY companies that do this.. yet there is outrage at Apple LOL.

      2. Just because its “normal” practice doesn’t meant its legal or ethical. I’m pretty sure either UPS or Amazon was sued over this exact same issue and LOST. If workers are following your orders they must be on the clock. Period, end of story.

        1. Would love to see the lawsuit… cause there isn’t one.

          My dad worked at Boeing, 5-10 minutes for a security check was normal. when leaving work.. after they clocked out. And Boeing has a LOT more employee’s than Apple stores do..

          From what I’ve seen in searching about this case, There are a few states that Apple could be in trouble for doing this.

          I still can’t believe 15-20 minutes per day like the suit claims.. maybe it’s meant to be per week.

    1. Apple aren’t controlling where you live or how you to get to work. You could live next to the store if you want.
      In a bag search line, they are 100% controlling your time. When an employer is in control of your time and actions, they should be paying you.

    2. Exactly… The bag search is a path to and from work. No different than a stop light. The point being it’s loss prevention. Transparent bags would make the task easier.

      Some jobs require you not bring things to work. Some require that you not take things from work.

      Employees will try to get away with anything. Likewise employers do too. So let the courts decide. I am on the side of Apple on this one. And frankly this is not the first time this subject came up before.

    3. God man, this is old and settled law. The “Portal-to-Portal Act” of 1947 limits the Fair Labor Standards Act so that, generally, travel time is not necessarily compensatable.

      Time for required searches is less settled, but the Ninth Circuit has recently confirmed that companies are required to pay for the time they spend searching employees bags.

  2. I love Apple, but this penny pinching is rediculous. A company as profitable as Apple shouldn’t be such a tight wad. From what I understand, they’re only paid between $10-$15 an hour anyway. If Apple wants to retain good quality associates, they need to pay a decent competitive wage and not harass the workers. This is bad PR for Apple, people pay attention to this kind of stuff. Don’t be like Walmart who pays their associates $8.50 an hour, be more like Costco, which pays around $18 an hour to its workers. The quality of Cosco workers is quite a level above Walmart drones. You get what you pay for. I not only refuse to shop Walmart because they’re in-American, but also the type of people they hire are quite often not very good at their job, or very bright.

    1. When Apple started in Retail, they didn’t do bag checks. Why do you think they started? Could it be because they were seeing significant losses of small items that cost hundreds of dollars that could be easily concealed in a backpack? Sure, they could just eat those losses, but how much more do you think their customers should pay to make up the difference?

      Here’s a tip for you: NEVER open a business.


  3. I’m disgusted, absolutely disgusted, with Apple’s highhanded attitude towards its retail store employees. If it weren’t for the efforts of the retail store employees do you think that f**king homo caretaker Cook can justify earning his $300 million salary.

    Apple has to put up with Cook’s buggery, why can’t they pay their employees a little more to compensate them for lost time. That’s why it’s important to have unions and communism to protect the rights of the workers.

    F**k Apple I say, f**k ’em hard.

    1. You all talk as if working at an Apple Retail store is a career… I sure would not want to work there for the rest of my life.

      We all need to move on and make more money, but not selling iPhones and iPads.

      Give me a break.

      1. F**k you, you bourgeois twat, if it weren’t for unions, you’d still be working down the mines as a 12 year old kid you f***king smug bastard.

        If you put in an honest 8 hours day’s of work, you should be paid for that work. You have no right to deduct what’s mine because you feel I’m in a temporary job and will be moving on to better things.

        If what you say is right, shouldn’t you be paying sanitation workers to rummage around the rubbish to pay for themselves since they’re only doing it for fun. F**king asshole.

        1. Seamus, I value and support the good (versus bad) accomplishments of unions.

          But do you seriously believe that you, as a maniacal, hate-filled, obscenity and insult spewing loon past the edge of sanity really represent anyone we’d trust under any circumstances? Let’s see some further illustrations of my point:

          you f***king smug bastard…. F**king asshole.

          If only reality was so pliable as to respond to our verbal rants by doing everything we want, we humans would already be extinct.

          1. Hi Derek,
            “Seamus” is some little shit who got tired of me telling him he was a little shit and started using my name – because I didn’t realize how registration works.

        2. Seamus, you really are a prick, aren’t you. Union officials are smug bastards who live luxurious lifestyles off the members subs. I was forced to join a union years ago, as part of a closed-shop system, otherwise the firm’s business would be blacked, and when I was threatened with redundancy, guess how much help the union was? Zero. Zip, zilch, nada.
          No pressure on the boss, no help looking for another job, nothing. Fuck the unions, and fuck you, asswipe.

        3. To pseudo-Seamus,

          I’m so sorry you have to live with such a bad case of Tourette’s Syndrome. You have my sympathy.

          Unfortunately, I have to inform you there is no cure, as such. But a lot can be done, these days, to control symptoms. Consult your medical professional to find out what will be best for you.

          1. re pseudo-Seamus

            There’s a certain kind of person on this forum. I really have NO clue why they even come here and why they post anything at all. Pseudo-Seamus is one, and as well as spouting obscenity, he pretends to be me. Maybe you can think of a few others. Indicators:
            – use name-calling incessantly
            – use swearing incessantly
            – NEVER use any language that acknowledges there may be other valid opinions such as, “In my opinion-” or “I think that-“.
            – Language is bombastic and absolutist. They apparently think they are some kind of fountain of absolute infallible truth.

            I theorize these people are like emotional cesspools of negativity, rage and poison that swirl around, driven by raging currents and boil-overs of hormones. They are losers who need to lash out, to make themselves feel like big boys.

            I really can’t help wondering:
            – how old these people are
            – what terrible lives they have had to turn into such petulant, small-minded rage addicts.

            1. Man, that is one angry dude. How does Cook’s sexual orientation have anything to do with anything? Does this guy really think about what other people are doing in the privacy of their homes. That’s creepy. He needs therapy. Best thing to do is ignore this weak minded little man.

        4. Seamus, you’re an idiot. Unions aren’t why we have a better standard of living today than we did in 1900. Unions are nothing but another organized crime institution that robs the workers to pay for hookers and blow for politicians.


        5. hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē|
          noun ( pl. hypocrisies )
          the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
          ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French ypocrisie, via ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek hupokrisis ‘acting of a theatrical part,’ from hupokrinesthai ‘play a part, pretend,’ from hupo ‘under’ + krinein ‘decide, judge.’

      2. It may or may not be a career. That doesn’t obviate the expectation of equitable workplace treatment while doing a job. At no time does an employee become managements vassal.

    2. that f**king homo caretaker Cook…. Apple has to put up with Cook’s buggery…. That’s why it’s important to have unions and communism to protect the rights of the workers. F**k Apple I say, f**k ‘em hard.

      Something tells me that you didn’t intend this as sarcasm. That would make you someone we here at MDN could certainly do without. Or alternatively: See that bottle of Lithium on your table? You forgot to take your tablet today. Take one and come back here in the morning, refreshed and able to speak sanely.

        1. Out of the blue you post this:

          Derek you misogynist

          Do you know what that word means? Let’s let the dictionary speak:

          mi·sog·y·nist (m-sj-nst)
          One who hates women.
          Of or characterized by a hatred of women.

          Me? I don’t think so. I also don’t lick asses, especially yours. I also have more than a few Irish genes from the ‘Curry’ side of the family. And, I’ve been throated with vehement ‘thudding’ on many occasions and survived to value intelligent thought over thuggery on any occasion. Therefore, I don’t value you or your threatening madness.

          And of course, here I am arguing with a crazy person, oops. Now if he was a troll, I’d be enjoying this. But he’s not. He’s just crazy. So I’ll let Seamus rant to the wind while I move along to something thoughtful…

  4. As a business owner myself, I understand the outwardly harsh looking policy to search your employees at quitting time. Much of the high value inventory in Apple Retail stores is small and easily concealed. Most likely Apple experienced significant internal theft and was forced to impose the policy. A person getting hired by an Apple Retail store knows this policy up front, including the uncompensated period waiting to have your backpack searched. However I am also sure there is some labor law or legal precedent that states that non-work related company-imposed milling around must be compensated. Thank goodness for the government, without which we would not have a nanogram of common sense.

    1. As the owner of multiple businesses, I would NEVER expect any of my employees to remain uncompensated for mandatory time at work, no matter what the reason.
      I dont think it’s good for my employees, and I don’t think it’s good for business.

  5. Come on guys. Fanboys. Stop.

    Imagine if you had to wait in line at the end of your shift for backpack searches. It’s like customs at the airport.

    How long does it take to get through that line? Let’s say 20 minutes, because everyone crashes it at quitting time and rightfully so. So a person works 3 days per week. Each week that’s 60 minutes or 1 hour of that person’s time and this time is outside his hourly work time. But this person is forced to do this. In 1 month, it’s 4 hours spent screwing around with bag searches.

    Not only are bag searches violating, but they’re eating up this time and it’s not paid for.

    I agree with employees wanting this time covered. Only when they’re through the bag search should they be clocked out.

    1. What about the time it takes to don a uniform the company demands? Are we really going to nickel and dime this system when you know going into this you have to get your bag searched, you have to don/remove the uniform? What’s next? Being compensated for every minute over the hour we use, like for clocking in and out?

      This seems to be someone who also wants to be compensated for their travel time to and from work, in additon to the time they don’t spend at home on sitting around watching tv or reading.

      The only reason this is news is because it’s Apple. If this was Microsoft, no one would read it. If it was Google, which I’m sure also searches their employees bags, everyone would say its the nature of their business.

      1. You know guys, there is this Internet-thingy, where, with a few minutes work, you could actually look up the law and how it is applied. In case you are having computer issues – or are using Windows – the short answer is that, generally, the time spent putting on clothes (or travelling to work) does not have to be paid. However, there is a trend towards considering protective gear as not being “clothing” and requiring the employer to pay for the time it takes to put it on.

  6. Guess who also does this:

    Best Buy
    Wal Mart

    Know what else?

    Apple pays $4-$6 MORE per hour STARTING than those companies do after 2 years of employment at those aforementioned retailers..

    Apple retail employees are the HIGHEST paid hourly non commission employees IN THE INDUSTRY. And they still manage to complain.. Apple retail starts at $13.. Entry level. Best Buy? $7.50-$9…

    Also, do these clowns have an exact record of all time? I bet it’s an extra 2-3 mins per shift…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.