The California Supreme Court today ruled that the Apple Store violated California law when it failed to pay employees for time they spend waiting for mandatory bag checks at the end of their shifts.
Apple won at the trial level in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which said employees of the Cupertino, Calif., tech company chose to bring bags to work and thus subject themselves to the company’s search policy. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit turned to the state court to interpret California law.
Compensation turns on the issue of whether the employee is controlled by the employer. Apple workers “are clearly under Apple’s control while awaiting, and during, the exit searches,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said…
Apple’s case will now return to the Ninth Circuit, which earlier held that Nike Retail Services Inc. and Converse Inc. must face California workers’ class claims that they should be paid for time spent in post-shift bag checks.
The California court also slapped Apple for its arguments that employees bringing their iPhones to work was a convenience. “Its characterization of the iPhone as unnecessary for its own employees is directly at odds with its description of the iPhone as an ‘integrated and integral’ part of the lives of everyone else,” the court said, citing statements by company CEO Tim Cook.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in June 2015, “Unfortunately, policies like this do not arise out of the blue. There is a reason why bag checks have to be conducted. Ah, if only we lived in a world where everyone was taught, and learned, right from wrong and lived moral lives. That said, there must be a way to conduct these bag checks out of view of customers and as quickly as possible. Apple would do well to remember that the vast majority of these bag checks are being conducted on loyal employees who are not thieves.”
Tim Cook received multiple complaints on Apple’s bag check policy – June 11, 2015
Judge dismisses Apple Store employee ‘bag check’ lawsuits following Supreme Court ruling – December 31, 2014
Apple Retail Store employee files class action lawsuit over lost wages due to bag searches – October 12, 2013
Apple retail workers file class action suit claiming lost wages over bag searches – July 29, 2013