Apple Could Owe Millions for Off-the-Clock Employee Bag Searches in California

WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2016
362
301
Why? This is true in many industries. Can't bring in any personal electronic devices for security reasons. People who work counting cash and coins can't bring any money or even metal to work. Medical transcriptionists and bank call center workers can't bring any paper in or out of work.

Or safety reasons: bags can get caught in moving machinery or get sucked up by a jet engine. Or economic reasons, you drop it on a wing and make a $250k dent...
In those cases, there are change rooms or locker rooms. Just like in grade schools, you had locker rooms and lockers.
 

Strelok

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
1,348
1,562
United States
Typical response from some man who likely never worked a service-based job and can’t think beyond his own small, suburban world.

Never mind women, nor people living in dense cities, nor people with disabilities who need to carry more than a wallet in their back pocket all day.
I actually have, but I moved on because I didn’t care for it and wasn’t interested in working minimum/near minimum wage forever. My point seems to have gone over some people’s heads. This is America, where you can choose to quit and get another job if you aren’t happy and you won’t be punished for it. Additionally, the headline mentions long wait times, but where is the data?
 

Northern Man

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
822
1,182
Additionally, the headline mentions long wait times, but where is the data?
The amount of time is not the key issue. Whether 45 minutes or 10 minutes, the employer should be paying the employee as the employer has required the employee to be on the company's premises and under the control of the company.

If the employee told the employer that starting tomorrow he will be leaving work 10 minutes early every day, you can be sure the employer will not pay him for those 10 minutes. So why should the employee work 10 minutes extra for no pay? These are not executive positions with an annual salary (where unpaid overtime is part of the deal), these are (as far as I know) positions with an hourly wage.
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68000
Jul 31, 2011
1,985
1,742
Technically, *a lot* of these "Chinese workforce" are not Apple's but Foxconn's..

That's the beauty of outsourcing :p

Maybe following this, Apple won't directly employ these store workers any more – opting for a "managed services" company instead thus shifting all labor-related risks to that company.
That’s how you lose quality control. Just shift to people who won’t complain. That’s the beauty of employment at will.
 

cardfan

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2012
2,327
3,089
Is anyone being forced to work at an Apple Store? No. Is anyone being forced to bring a bag to work? No. It might sound stupid the way these searches were/are being conducted, but nobody is being forced to do anything.
Yep. When you have burger flipper types of employees it’s hard to blame apple.
 

V_Man

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2019
346
443
The thirstiness and absolute lack of taste.
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That's what gets you off? You're better than that.
How’s the air up there on that pulpit. 🙄

the girl is beautiful.
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Codpeace

macrumors regular
May 13, 2011
108
61
Just want to say I used to work at the 5th Ave store in New York, which had HUNDREDS of employees and one single bag checker, and I never waited more than a minute.
So I guess you don’t need to recover much for time Apple stole from you. If time is money, then you’ve remained wealthier than the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.
 
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aimbdd

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2008
622
58
East Cost
I’ve worked at retail that did bag checks. At the end of the night it was less than a minute to check everyone’s bag and leave. I think in cases like that you don’t need to be paid. No ones forcing you to bring a bag. When you start to have to wait I think that changes though. Especially when you get over the 5 minute mark. You should have to pay your employees for that.
 

wirefire

macrumors member
Jun 12, 2015
39
36
Lets get to the expensive part. I am not sure where the "time clock" in an Apple store is located but I can't imagine it is at or near the exit door. So in order to search employees and pay them for the time, they are going to have to put / move a time clock at the exit and have the search > clock out > exit procedure standardized. They can't let someone be searched, clock out and then walk across the facility floor to the exit, that defeats the purpose of the search.

NOW I could see Apple forcing you to put your personal effects in a locker and isolating the locker area and the exit from the rest of the back end of the store. Personal search takes place as you enter the locker area which would be significantly faster if it is only your person.
 
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CraigB1960

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2014
109
67
Tucson, AZ
The issue isn’t about being allowed to have the items or not. It’s about not being paid whilst waiting to be searched.
I agree with you. My wife quit working in the prison system. She had to endure the searching and slow in-process each day, all without being paid. This amounted to 15 to 20 minutes daily of uncompensated time.
 

jeyf

macrumors 65816
Jan 20, 2009
1,431
624
apple should close the retail stores
that being said
it is up to the individual employer if they make you wait a half hour to leave the premises. Some employers may let you leave quickly others make you wait. I can not say how the courts handled this discussion. Just thinking not difficult to prove either way.
 

compwiz1202

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2010
814
215
Why? This is true in many industries. Can't bring in any personal electronic devices for security reasons. People who work counting cash and coins can't bring any money or even metal to work. Medical transcriptionists and bank call center workers can't bring any paper in or out of work.

Or safety reasons: bags can get caught in moving machinery or get sucked up by a jet engine. Or economic reasons, you drop it on a wing and make a $250k dent...
But those places have lockers. We are like that and no one ever gets searched. Does Apple have lockers in the back room, and just let employees come in that way?
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Should get paid until the bag search is completed, that way there is a financial incentive for store managers to get it done as quickly as possible. 45 mins waiting does sound extreme, however I hope there was security video to protect both sides claim. If you clocked out that is when the company says all is good. Though many companies have this practise and should change the company policy.

I concur with another poster who was an employee and said these bag searches take a minute or less, not sure about this 45 mins wait time claim, was the person responsible for bag searches on lunch or something. Seems odd tbh.
Exactly, how many can be leaving at the same time from an Apple Store? Problem must be not enough people with authority to search available. Need some better time management.
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So for everyone saying bag checking is wrong let me tel you this. I’ve worked at bestbuy for 5 years now and the stuff employees in the past have tried to steal or stolen is remarkable. Just last month AP caught a new hire trying to sneak a set of keys to locked up items.
It more of an issue of having to pay employees for it and having it not take freaking FORTY FIVE minutes.
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Lets get to the expensive part. I am not sure where the "time clock" in an Apple store is located but I can't imagine it is at or near the exit door. So in order to search employees and pay them for the time, they are going to have to put / move a time clock at the exit and have the search > clock out > exit procedure standardized. They can't let someone be searched, clock out and then walk across the facility floor to the exit, that defeats the purpose of the search.

NOW I could see Apple forcing you to put your personal effects in a locker and isolating the locker area and the exit from the rest of the back end of the store. Personal search takes place as you enter the locker area which would be significantly faster if it is only your person.
Yea why don't they just have a back employee entrance and lockers? And as far as the walking across the floor, it's no different than any other customer. They don't search every customer as the leave. They just have security to prevent theft there.
 
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compwiz1202

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2010
814
215
Most electronics stores do this. When I worked at a Circuit City and Best Buy back in the day both did this if you brought a bag.

Not saying it's right, but I get why it's done.
But I think it's ridiculous to be somewhere for almost 15 years and still be treated the same. What does it take to ever earn trust if you've NEVER even thought of doing most of the stuff they say they are trying to prevent??? They're so freaking paranoid we are evil Dick Tracies, you can't even wear a smartwatch, which is the #1 reason I don't get one. Don't want to get something I can't use to almost two thirds of my life between sleep and work.
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Best Buy had to pay up in a similar lawsuit about a decade ago. I got a nice check from them despite never being subjected to the bag searches.
Same with evil Wal~Mart with shady unpaid OT and greedy crap like that.
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That’s how you lose quality control. Just shift to people who won’t complain. That’s the beauty of employment at will.
Yea ridiculous. Less pay but slower and quality is in the toilet. We just have to fix most of their crap anyhow so just let us do it right the first time!
 

_Refurbished_

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2007
2,110
2,383
I used to work for Disney Parks and at the end of your shift, you get a 20 minute grace period to change out of your costume and walk to your car. Disney also checks your bags before you leave, but has a security officer waiting at the exit turnstiles 24/7.

Apple should be doing the search before or as you clock out. If Apple wants to invest time and money to protect themselves, great, but it shouldn’t be on the watch of everyone else.
 

thebeans

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2009
373
457
imagine sitting at work for 45 minutes after you clock out because you brought your purse with you
That would suck for sure. But I have to wonder, just how big are these stores such that it takes :45 wait to get a bag check? Are there really that many employees leaving at one time or not enough people to do the checks or what?
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,613
1,668
Isla Nublar
But I think it's ridiculous to be somewhere for almost 15 years and still be treated the same. What does it take to ever earn trust if you've NEVER even thought of doing most of the stuff they say they are trying to prevent??? They're so freaking paranoid we are evil Dick Tracies, you can't even wear a smartwatch, which is the #1 reason I don't get one. Don't want to get something I can't use to almost two thirds of my life between sleep and work.
It's not ridiculous at all, it's treating everyone the same.

Where I worked we had a person that was there for 10 years when I started, she worked there a further 8 after I left, then they got fired for stealing. DVDs, cash, video games, you name it, they stole it. A buddy who still worked there was tasked with sitting with loss prevention and reviewing tons of tapes.

Just because someone works there a long time doesn't mean they're not stealing.
 
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furqan8421

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2007
97
56
I actually have, but I moved on because I didn’t care for it and wasn’t interested in working minimum/near minimum wage forever. My point seems to have gone over some people’s heads. This is America, where you can choose to quit and get another job if you aren’t happy and you won’t be punished for it. Additionally, the headline mentions long wait times, but where is the data?
Well in this version of America the court ruled that Apple has to pay for time spent waiting in line after employees clocked out.
 
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compwiz1202

macrumors 6502a
May 20, 2010
814
215
It's not ridiculous at all, it's treating everyone the same.

Where I worked we had a person that was there for 10 years when I started, she worked there a further 8 after I left, then they got fired for stealing. DVDs, cash, video games, you name it, they stole it. A buddy who still worked there was tasked with sitting with loss prevention and reviewing tons of tapes.

Just because someone works there a long time doesn't mean they're not stealing.
And those are the ones I absolutely hate because they ruin it for long time good employees with a traffic ticket as their worst offense in 47 years. And what kind of crappy loss prevention do they have for someone to last so long that is stealing??
 

SliderX5

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2018
12
44
Boston, MA
I worked at an Apple store in NH and I would say after about 2 years there that bag checks at the store could sometimes take up to 1/2 hour to find someone and get them to check you out. It sucked during weekends because sometimes it would take so long you would just leave your stuff in the locker and not take it home or you would leave with your cell phone and pray you didn't get written up
 

steve23094

macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
2,659
1,412
I think suicide safety nets spring to mind
This was debunked in the end. The rates were lower than the general populous.

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No ones forcing you to bring a bag.
The problem with Apple is that you must wear a uniform and are not allowed to wear that uniform outside the store.

So what are you putting your change of clothes in? Is Apple washing your uniform? You have to take it home somehow and that's going to be in a bag.
 
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Rajani Isa

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2010
1,146
56
Rogue Valley, Oregon
Very unique lawsuit, this interpretation could have the potential to move into other states
Not really. Amazon had a similar one for their warehouse employees.
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Lets get to the expensive part. I am not sure where the "time clock" in an Apple store is located but I can't imagine it is at or near the exit door. So in order to search employees and pay them for the time, they are going to have to put / move a time clock at the exit and have the search > clock out > exit procedure standardized. They can't let someone be searched, clock out and then walk across the facility floor to the exit, that defeats the purpose of the search.

NOW I could see Apple forcing you to put your personal effects in a locker and isolating the locker area and the exit from the rest of the back end of the store. Personal search takes place as you enter the locker area which would be significantly faster if it is only your person.
The main concern is access to the stock room. So they’d check you, your clock out, and exit without going in the stock room.