Apple has agreed to pay $29.9 million to employees at its retail stores who were forced to submit to security bag checks — unpaid — when they left work after or during their shifts.
Lawyers for the workers asked a federal judge on Friday to approve the settlement, which was reached after a protracted eight-year legal battle.
Apple Store employees filed the class-action lawsuit in 2013, claiming the company was violating California law by not paying them for the time it took to check their bags.
Apple claimed the bag searches were necessary to make sure workers were not hiding stolen electronic devices in their bags and argued in court that anyone who didn’t like the policy could choose not to bring bags to work.
The lawsuit only covered workers at California’s 52 Apple stores. The class includes 14,683 workers; each will get $1,286 from the settlement, the lawyers said in the court filing.
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.
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