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Apple will face a class action lawsuit brought against it by retail employees in California who were subjected to ongoing bag checks that often caused them to remain at work for 10 to 15 minutes after their shifts had ended, reports Reuters.

Employees allege Apple subjected them to mandatory bag checks that were "embarrassing and demeaning," and were conducted off the clock, leaving them uncompensated for their time. The group is seeking damages for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and other recompense.

apple_store_genius_bar_official.jpg

The lawsuit was first filed in 2013 and after some legal hurdles that included a 2014 dismissal, it was granted class action status today by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco. Class members participating in the lawsuit include more than 12,000 of Apple's current and former employees in the state of California.

Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle, the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit, claim Apple's bag checks were mandatory each time a sales rep left the store and were put in place to discourage theft. Several employees subjected to these bag searches emailed Tim Cook in 2012, writing that managers were "required to treat 'valued' employees as criminals" and that the searches were often performed "in front of gawking customers."

Over the course of the past two years, Apple has argued that the case should not get class action status because not all managers conducted bag searches and that the bag searches that did happen took so little time that compensation was not necessary. Now that it has received class action status, the lawsuit will go to trial.

Article Link: Apple to Face Class Action Lawsuit Over Off-the-Clock Employee Bag Checking
 

LewisChapman

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2015
600
860
Clearly the managers that are conducting said bag checks in front of customers are the issue here.

A simple opening of the top of the bag whilst a manager glances (in the back of the store) does not take up more than 10 seconds of time. The employees who take this personally should be explained to why it needs to be done and if they do not feel comfortable with it they should look elsewhere for employment.

This is common in retail and I would be surprised if this case holds up. Good luck against the Apple lawyers.
 
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skottichan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2007
922
1,000
Columbus, OH
For me, the worst place for bag checks, working security for Nationwide Arena. It was more than just checking bags, we were patted down, and wanded, coming in and going out. Off the clock.

Working at a Microsoft call-center was pretty similar, only difference; no physical pat down. Then we got checked by facility security, since the call center shared a physical location with Raytheon, BP and Dell. Again, all off the clock.
 
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EW800

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2012
378
101
I would not be surprised at all if Apple has to write a big check for his one. CA labor laws are very strict. If they are detaining team-members at all for a bag check or anything else, they have to be compensated. A lot of CA companies have had to write big checks for similar issues.
 
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DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,185
679
Are we sure this article is correct?

The same judge (Alsup) just dismissed this same case with prejudice back in Decemeber.
 
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bibigon

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2011
79
76
Amazon workers already unanimously lost this case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk
Thanks for this cite. Reviewing it quickly, it does seem like this lawsuit is a major longshot given this precedent.
 
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H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,793
5,927
Clearly the managers that are conducting said bag checks in front of customers are the issue here.

A simple opening of the top of the bag whilst a manager glances (in the back of the store) does not take up more than 10 seconds of time. The employees who take this personally should be explained to why it needs to be done and if they do not feel comfortable with it they should look elsewhere for employment.

This is common in retail and I would be surprised if this case holds up. Good luck against the Apple lawyers.
Haven’t got a problem with that at all. It should happen on the company clock if it takes so little as to be unnoticeable. they won’t have a problem with it then will they?
 
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usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
The Amazon employees got nowhere with this, I doubt this will hold up. Also, demeaning? I've worked at places that do this. I highly doubt it waster than a simple check.

Just what I was thinking - amazon already won this case. Are they going to try this in another venue?
 
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LewisChapman

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2015
600
860
Haven’t got a problem with that at all. It should happen on the company clock if it takes so little as to be unnoticeable. they won’t have a problem with it then will they?

I'm 100% interested in what you would do with that extra 10 seconds in your day + that extra 10 seconds worth of wage.

Maybe you could buy a single match, strike it (3 seconds depending on whether its first time) and watch it burn for 6 seconds. That last second you ask? That's yours. You've earned it - literally.
 
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superberg

macrumors member
May 12, 2010
70
132
Schaumburg, IL
As someone who worked in retail for over a decade, bag checks are indeed common.

However, bad management can lead to waiting an extended period of time before being checked. If the employee is off the clock and it eats into their break or commute, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. My opinion is that if it doesn't happen within a couple minutes of clocking out, it's a problem. Once someone clocks out, they're not on your time anymore, and that needs to be acted upon with respect. Managers will look for any excuse to deny employees raises or continued employment, including being a minute or two late or leaving a minute or two after their shift is over. Hourly employees have every right to demand that their off-clock time not be wasted, particularly since breaks are often scheduled and inflexible. If an employee has a half hour for lunch and they lose five minutes, that may actually cause them to have to change lunch plans, rush unnecessarily, or skip eating entirely. If an employee leaves at a certain time so they can go to a second job or work, then their manager's delay can negatively affect their performance elsewhere.

Additionally, bag checks in front of customers should be avoided whenever possible. It can be demeaning and invasive. This is not a matter where one person gets to decide for the rest of the world what is an isn't embarrassing. People have different thresholds for that sort of thing.

It's possible this issue is isolated to certain stores/regions, too. I had managers that never bothered with bag checks and managers that lived and died by them. I never performed them myself when I was a manager.
 
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bibigon

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2011
79
76
Just what I was thinking - amazon already won this case. Are they going to try this in another venue?
Amazon won this at the U.S. Supreme Court. There's nowhere else to go. Apparently under the FLSA, only "integral" job functions are compensable, and security checks don't qualify. Here is the Supreme Court's opinion on this. It's 9-0, and pretty short and easy to read.

That said, the FLSA regulation is question mostly seems incoherent, which is why we've got this result:

The security screenings at issue here are noncompensable postliminary activities. To begin with, the screenings were not the “principal activity or activities which [the] employee is employed to perform.” 29 U. S. C. §254(a)(1). Integrity Staffing did not employ its workers to undergo security screenings, but to retrieve products from warehouse shelves and package those products for shipment to Amazon customers.

The security screenings also were not “integral and indispensable” to the employees’ duties as warehouse workers. As explained above, an activity is not integral and indispensable to an employee’s principal activities unless it is an intrinsic element of those activities and one with which the employee cannot dispense if he is to perform those activities. The screenings were not an intrinsic element of retrieving products from warehouse shelves or packaging them for shipment. And Integrity Staffing could have eliminated the screenings altogether without impairing the employees’ ability to complete their work.
 
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superberg

macrumors member
May 12, 2010
70
132
Schaumburg, IL
It doesn't take 15 minutes. Here's a novel idea.... Leave the backpack or purse at home. DUH!
No Bag check.

This is great when the entire world works according to your outlook and schedule. This is not how the real world works. Retail employees are often students or hold multiple jobs, and may rely on public transit. There may not be time in their schedule to return home between responsibilities.
 
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SteveLV702

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2007
328
24
Las Vegas, Nevada
Man they check my bag every time I go to Disneyland. I'm suing.. They check my bag when go into a court house.. I'm suing...

There are hundreds of companies in this world that do simple bag checks... Don't like it find another job that doesn't do it..
 
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Mattaaron09

macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2014
6
5
I work at an Apple Store and I've never been bag checked once. I wonder if this was just in the Cali stores.
 
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superberg

macrumors member
May 12, 2010
70
132
Schaumburg, IL
Typically these bag checks take about 5 to 10 seconds.
From http://blogs.findlaw.com/free_enterprise/2013/10/amazon-sued-over-employee-security-checks.html:

"In the Amazon lawsuit, the class action plaintiffs allege they were never compensated during the bag searches or while waiting in line for the screenings (in a sea of about 100 employees), adding up to 10 to 20 minutes of uncompensated time per worker, according to WCAU-TV."

Source for your five-to-ten-seconds?
 
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pittaman

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2015
29
21
San Jose, CA
The overtime/off the clock issue will likely receive much of the focus . . . not the actual "search" per se. I have never worked retail but my son has worked nothing but retail his adult life and he has typically been required to lock up his belongings (including even his wallet at one location) in a locker before going to his "station", not to mention being checked by a security guard on his way out of work (and off the clock) at another location. He has been on the winning end (to the tune of a couple hundred dollars) of a couple class action suits, brought by others, for not getting appropriate breaks and not being paid overtime, etc. Will be interested to see how this pans out.
 
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