9th Circuit rules Apple owes retail workers for time spent during bag checks

On Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that more than 12,000 Apple retail workers in California are entitled to back pay for time they spent going through security “bag checks” at the end of their shifts.

9th Circuit rules Apple owes retail workers for time spent during bag checks. Image: Apple Store Palo Alto
Apple Palo Alto


A unanimous three-judge panel reversed a judge who had tossed the case and ordered him to enter summary judgment for the plaintiffs, after the California Supreme Court in response to certified questions in the case said in February that time spent undergoing security checks is compensable under state law.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in February:

Is this some leftover policy from John Browett’s short shift as head of Apple Retail? We ask because this seems like a policy some discounter would implement, not the world’s most valuable company which literally has so much money coming in that they don’t know what to do with it.

If you are requiring employees to do something, regardless of what it is; mundane or revolutionary, then you should pay them for their time. This seems like basic logic.

Paying employees for time spent in bag checks seems like something Apple should have realized and done from the outset. Not only is it wrongheaded PR (the world’s richest company asking retail employees to donate their time daily for bag checks, seriously?), it’s just immoral, not to mention illogical. It’s a cheapskate mentality in the most expensive and profitable retail spaces in existence. Yet, Apple is fighting it in court? Come on!

Let’s get real, Apple brass: Stop being cheap, end the appeals, settle, apologize, and pay up. Then figure out how to smooth the current bag check process so it costs your employees less time and, therefore, the company less money. You know: innovate.

Again, we understand the need for bag checks. Apple should keep requiring bag checks for retail employees. The company simply needs to fairly pay their employees for the time spent during the mandatory activity.


  1. I recall a friend, back in the day, telling me about a coworker at Best Buy that stole a big screen TV (one of those giant box projection TVs) . . . In other words, if employees really want to steal from you, they can probably figure out a way around a bag check. As an employer, you’re better off just hiring trustworthy employees and paying them well.

  2. Of course they do. Order should be to pay those employees back pay with interest, based on the thought that they would have used that money to buy apple shares. Then there must be a $1,000,000,000 penalty, so they never do it again, and stockholders hold management responsible to never use employees like that again. Also the judge should put a $10,000,000,000 delay penalty. It won’t hurt apple, but it will rattle the doors and windows.

    1. You must be really perfect, Bob. In your own estimation at least.

      Imagine, you get a $100 parking fine – and a $100,000 ‘delay penalty’ when your appeal is overturned.

      That’s Planet Bob.

  3. Good Idea, I should file a lawsuit against all airlines for losing my time at TSA checkpoints (not Precheck). I paid $800 – $1000 fare for oversea and it takes about 30-45 minutes in a waiting line until you reach checkpoint. I should ask for $100 compensation!
    Sue State Law Enforcement agency for Drunk checkpoint!
    Sue Walmart for reading my receipts!
    Sue this company! Sue that that and that for losing my freaking time!!

    If you don’t want to lose your time, don’t bring your backpack, purse, etc to Apple Store. If I am an Apple employee, I would bring luggage to Apple Store everyday to get more money! Stupid.

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