Court orders Apple to pay employees for time spent searching their bags

*Company’s original policy says employees could lose their job for non-compliance

*Appeals Court rules its points possibly disputable if case involved a single worker vs. Apple, but didn’t hold water for class-wide relief

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Considered by many as unusual in advancing the interests of workforces in organisations, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a class action suit, has reversed an earlier judgment in Apple’s favour and says the global tech giant has to pay store employees in California for the time they spent waiting for their bags to be checked by security officers at the close of each shift in the company.

The five-year old case began when a cadre of California-based Apple store employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company, says agency report.

The plaintiffs argued that under a state wage order, the company is required to pay employees for “bag checks” for the simple fact that the company wields control over the employees in that situation.

The affected store workers said that there were some workdays where they had to twiddle their thumbs for 45 minutes for a manager or security officer to show up and do a bag search.

Hitherto, in a mandatory ‘compliance’ or ‘get fired’ stance of the company, the Apple policy that the employees were fighting against is one they first ran into in 2009 when they first became Apple store employees.

On the policy, Apple didn’t mince words in saying that “failure to comply with this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

However, Apple was said to have tried its best to dispute the claims, contending that its policy was not a one-size-fits-all procedure because some class members “did not bring bags or devices to work,” “were never required to participate in checks,” or “worked in stores with remote break rooms where they stored their belongings.”

It also disputed whether the policy was enforced through discipline.

The appeals court ruled that, yes, those points might be disputable if this was a single worker vs. Apple, but it didn’t hold water as to class-wide relief.

Kindly Share This Story