A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday said he was prepared to rule in favor of a class of 12,000 California Apple Retail Store staffers who say they should have been paid for time spent during Apple bag checks, but he will allow the company to dispute individual claims on a case-by-case basis.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup during a telephonic hearing said he planned to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs in the 2013 lawsuit, about a year after the California Supreme Court ruled that state law requires that workers be paid for time spent in security screenings.
Alsup said he would hold a series of mini-trials on damages, where Apple’s lawyers at DLA Piper will have the chance to show that individual class members never waited in security checks, or spent a “de minimis” amount of time waiting for which they do not have to be compensated.
Apple could owe more than $60 million in damages, according to filings in the case.
Alsup at the hearing also indicated that he was open to extending the class period, which runs to August 2015, to limit the possibility of additional litigation against Apple. “Someday we’ll have this case behind us. Maybe I’ll still be alive,” the 75-year-old judge said.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in February 2020:
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.