9th Circuit Rules Apple Owes Retail Workers for Time Spent in Security Screenings

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday said Apple must pay over 12,000 retail workers in California for the time spent waiting for compulsory bag searches at the end of their shifts (via Reuters).

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.
The unanimous court decision, which dates back to a class action lawsuit filed against Apple in 2013, lines up with a previous California Supreme Court ruling that determined that staff time spent in security screenings was compensable.

Employees alleged that Apple subjected them to mandatory bag checks that were conducted off the clock, leaving them uncompensated for their time. At the trial level, Apple actually won the lawsuit when the court ruled that Apple employees chose to bring personal bags to work and dismissed the case, but the decision was appealed and brought to a higher court.

The Ninth Circuit panel said on Wednesday that the U.S. District Court that handled the original lawsuit had mistaken in its judgement when it sided with Apple over the case.

Apple requires all personal packages, bags, and Apple devices that belong to retail employees to be checked by a manager or security before an employee is allowed to leave the store for any reason, including breaks, lunch, and the end of shifts.

Employees are also required to clock out before submitting to an exit search, and have estimated that the time spent waiting and undergoing searches ranges from five to 20 minutes. On busy days, some employees have waited for up to 45 minutes waiting for a bag check.

Prior evaluation of the case, which reached class action lawsuit status in 2015, suggested that Apple could have to pay as much as $60 million should it be required to offer employees back compensation for the time spent undergoing bag checks.

Article Link: 9th Circuit Rules Apple Owes Retail Workers for Time Spent in Security Screenings
 

ian87w

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2020
1,458
1,543
Indonesia
I can see this both ways. I agree that time spent on security checks required by the company should be compensated. I mean 45 minutes just to wait to exit your workplace? That should be on the company’s dime.

However, there’s potential for abuse, like bringing a suitcase every day to get paid for those extra minutes during security checks.

Maybe Apple should just open a locker Storage Business outside the store, open it for the public but Apple employees can use it for free, and simply ban employees from bringing their bags for work. Just a thought.
 

Madonepro

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2011
365
209
If the employees don’t like bag searches in their own time, they should manufacture their own mobile phone and develop their own App Store, not throw their toys out of the pram.

INB4 the usual suspects.
I can empathise with this. I work in an Operating Theatre, and each day I work, I have to start by a certain time. However to start, I must change from outdoor clothing, into theatre attire, footwear and headwear. This takes a good 10 minutes, and in our employments awards (the legal document that covers our working conditions, rights and pay provisions) there is a clause allowing for staff to finish that 10 mins earlier.
 

ThomasJL

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2008
825
1,578
Good. Apple shouldn't be treating its employees as potential criminals. How degrading and disrespectful! I'm sure there is no shortage of people on this forum who will disagree because they belong to the Apple-can-do-no-wrong apologist camp.
 

Northern Man

Suspended
Aug 25, 2013
2,054
3,161
Good. Apple shouldn't be treating its employees as potential criminals. How degrading and disrespectful! I'm sure there is no shortage of people on this forum who will disagree because they belong to the Apple-can-do-no-wrong apologist camp.
Nothing wrong with security measures but as the legal ruling says, the employer must pay the employees for their time. Apple certainly makes stupid decisions at times all with the aim of screwing employees and customers. A real lack of common sense which fortunately comes back to bite the company in the ass in this case.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2013
510
720
Earth
Many companies in the EU have tried this and the courts have ruled in the empoyees favour after cases being taken to a higher court. Seems the lower courts always find in favour of the employer until the employee's appeal and it goes to a higher court and the higher court always finds failings done by the lower court and thus find in favour of the employee.

A big case in the UK was that of Sports Direct and Newcastle football club owner Mike Ashley who it was found was making employee's sign out before they had to understake security searches. The courts found his company Sports Direct was breaking employment law and had to pay the employees.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2013
510
720
Earth
A huge majority of companies around the world will have and still be using the same shoddy employment practices. The only reasons we hear about them is either a) it becomes public knowledge due to court action or b) employees leave and are free to talk about the company.

What many people do not realise is that a vast majority of companies have clauses in the employment contracts that prevent people from publicly talking about the company unless it's been approved by the company.

A very good example of this is Amazon, they recently fired 3 people in the US for publicly speaking negativly about the company. One was fired for making a twitter post about how badly the company was implementing it's convid19 safety measures withing the company and the other 2 was fired for making public comments on social media about how bad things were inside the company. This is why you will not see social media posts about how badly a company treats it's employee's because the employee's are worried they will get fired if they speak out.
 

erniefairchild1

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2017
48
22
Good. Apple shouldn't be treating its employees as potential criminals. How degrading and disrespectful! I'm sure there is no shortage of people on this forum who will disagree because they belong to the Apple-can-do-no-wrong apologist camp.
Internal theft is the largest source of loss in retail stores. I’ve worked in retail, and all stores had bag checks. I also never waited 20 minutes for a bag check, maybe Apple Stores were just busier.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2013
510
720
Earth
It's a terrible thought at that. Have you never taken lunch to a workplace before? Have you ever bought something on the way to work, or planned on taking a change of clothes for after work? Where do you draw the line, clothes with no pockets?
One of my jobs in my younger days was working for a mobile phone manufacturer. When the phones we were building were small enough to hide in pockets and bags, periodic inventory checks would take place and it was noticed that parts were going missing so to help speed up the secuirty screening process, the company installed airport style metal detectors. The process was exactly the same as with airport screening, anything large enough to set off the scanner was placed on a table, keys, watch, belt, metal framed glasses. you get the idea. Security were allowed to 'pat you down' just like airport secuirty do and they also had those dector wands that they move over your body. This was mainly for the females because the metal in their underwired bra would set off the metal detectors. Naturally the company has male and female security guards BUT when the new security equipment was installed, the company updated the company rule book to state that it was a condition of employment that these security checks be carried out and that if anyone objected to the new security procedure they were more than welcome to resign from the company.

The scanners showed the worst and best of the company and how they handled security issues. The best one was when the scanner caught out one of the female secuirty guards. We had just started to make a very small mobile phone and she tried to hide a number of them on her person. Being a member of security she thought she could avoid the scanners but in her hast to get out to her car, she went through one of the scanners and set it off. One of the other secuirty guards asked her to empty all metal stuff out onto the table. She had the wand done to eleminate any metal being in her bra but yet the wand went off in numerous places. Turns out the woman had 2 phones in each of her socks, two tucked into the waistband of her trousers and one in each bra cup. Secuirty detained her and called the police. She was escorted off site, charged with theft, lost her job obviously.

The worst incident was a 20 something lad getting the sack because the metal dectors had found two small screws in his trouser pocket. HR claimed he was trying to steal them and sacked him for gross misconduct. Thing is, working on a production line it was sometimes possible to have screws end up in your pockets due to the speed you was picking them up with the end of the magnetised screwdriver.

Believe me, when the new security measures were implemented, personal items being brought into the company stopped immediatly because people were worried about getting sacked if the scanners picked up something.
 

Smigit

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2011
253
88
I think this is the right decision. I’m Ok with their being security checks. I don’t love the concept but I’m not completely against them, but the company should respect the employees time. Both cover the cost as well as make sure someone is available to do the check immediately.

Many stores also bag check customers as they leave. I bet no one here has been forced to wait 20 - 40 minutes for such a check when leaving as a customer (outside maybe an airport). Don’t see why employees should be subjected to such a wait too, even if those longer ones are quite rare. I mean, it’s a good portion of ones day, possibly most of a lunch break and the difference between catching a bus or train or missing it.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,246
4,360
I can see this both ways. I agree that time spent on security checks required by the company should be compensated. I mean 45 minutes just to wait to exit your workplace? That should be on the company’s dime.

However, there’s potential for abuse, like bringing a suitcase every day to get paid for those extra minutes during security checks.

Maybe Apple should just open a locker Storage Business outside the store, open it for the public but Apple employees can use it for free, and simply ban employees from bringing their bags for work. Just a thought.
Potential for abuse? If you come to a store with a suitcase, that may happen _once_. The next time your boss will tell you to take your suitcase home, and come back to work without one. If _one_ person does it to go straight from work to an airport, there’s always _some_ space to lock it away.
 
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Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
3,528
3,958
I can see this both ways. I agree that time spent on security checks required by the company should be compensated. I mean 45 minutes just to wait to exit your workplace? That should be on the company’s dime.

However, there’s potential for abuse, like bringing a suitcase every day to get paid for those extra minutes during security checks.

Maybe Apple should just open a locker Storage Business outside the store, open it for the public but Apple employees can use it for free, and simply ban employees from bringing their bags for work. Just a thought.
Yeah, because most employees are going to bring a giant suitcase just to squeeze another $10 and waste another hour

Jesus
 

Mcdevidr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2013
628
164
Standard practice for many big corporations. Home Depot pulled this kinda crap when I worked for them when I was young. They locked exits made you have your area screened prior to leaving a lot of times on your dime. I would end up just leaving anyways without approval. I didn’t play those games even at 18.
 
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