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Apple retail employees file class-action lawsuit over security

updated 05:51 pm EDT, Mon July 29, 2013

Claim that searches, bag checks are done off-the-clock

A group of former retail employees of Apple Stores in Los Angeles and New York have filed a class-action suit against Apple, saying that the company demands employees submit to extensive anti-theft searches and other security measures, but doesn't pay them for the time involved. The security checks, which happen whenever an employee leaves the store, take 10 or 15 minutes according to the claim filed, adding up to millions of dollars in uncompensated employee time -- possibly as much as $1,400 per employee per year.

The suit itself notes that the searches are "integral" and "indispensible" to Apple's security and loss-control goals, but have an issue with not being compensated for the time required for the checks, which are deducted from "uncompensated meal breaks." The lawsuit requests estimated unpaid wages as well as unpaid overtime, along with having a court declare uncompensated security checks illegal.

The suit is seeking certification as a class-action status on behalf of all Apple retail employees who worked or are working at Apple Stores within three years of the filing, who were not compensated for off-the-clock time enduring security screenings or not compensated overtime for the screenings if they were already over forty hours. Many other retailers do similar security checks of employees, though its not clear what percentage of those businesses compensate employees for the accrued "lost" time doing so. At least some of the companies keep employees on-the-clock until the searches are completed, however.

The case was filed in Apple's home judicial area, the Northern District of California on July 25. The plaintiffs, named as Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle, are seeking a jury trial. The Kralowec Law Group in San Francisco filed the lawsuit, though firms from New York City are in the process of joining the case.





by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    I wonder if they'll try to unionize over this. :rolleyes:

    It's not surprising that searches are more extensive in high-crime areas. Shoplifting happens a lot, even internally.

    That said, we only had check each other's bags (manager checked ours and let one of us peek in theirs) when we left at the end of the night. It wasn't like we were patted down or anything.

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Fire them!

    Seriously, 5 minutes of their lunch break because of bag checks? Don't these Apple stores have security detectors and secure rooms to secure their belongings? Duh!

    (By the way, according to MacRumors, the lawsuit is about lost wages, not security, as the current thread title suggests, so the title is incorrect. Correct this information.)

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    If it's mandatory, then they should be compensated. Mandatory off-the-clock is stupid, particularly if it "eats" into their allotted break time, then they aren't actually getting their allotted break time.
    Maybe a compromise would be to start the break clock after the search, even if it means they wind up off the clock for 45 minutes, for a 30 minute lunch break.
    Don't make your employees pay the corporate cost of doing business.

  1. shifuimam

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 08-15-06

    Also technically is it legal to search employees' personal belongings without probable cause?

  1. panjandrum

    Junior Member

    Joined: 12-01-04

    Wow, Apple is SOOOOOOO clearly in the right here. How could a giant corporation possibly be wrong? How could Apple have anything other than the employee's best interests at heart?

    For the first two posters here, and all the other giant-coperate-overlord-faithful who agree with them: I humbly you suggest that instead of posting on forums you go out and DO something real, in the physical world, that shows off your well-thought-out and humane attitude. I know, get a bunch of like-minded people (that is, people who don't give a crap about other people), and take yourself to the nearest giant corporation presence you can think of, especially one that's known for putting people, environmental concerns, local businesses, and other people's money in the proper place! Maybe Walmart, or a giant oil-conglomerant, or possibly a bank. Now turn your backs to the the business and drop-trow. That's it, let it all hang out, just stand there and let that big corporate presence do to you exactly what they want to do with you. Don't leave until you feel fully satisfied that they've had their way with you.

    Oh, or you could rub all two of your brain cells together and actually try to think for a change. I'm always the optimist...

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Originally Posted by panjandrumView Post

    Wow, Apple is SOOOOOOO clearly in the right here. How could a giant corporation possibly be wrong? How could Apple have anything other than the employee's best interests at heart?



    Exactly! Then why does the rest of your post go completely off topic? How about having a little discipline and obedience? I don't have "two brain cells" - I have trillions more than that... unlike you... "drop-trow"? Gross...what is this, Johnny Knoxville comes to Walmart to film Jackass? How about this: We're not "giant-coperate-overlord" whatevers.

    How about this for the Apple store workers: If you don't want your bag checked for lunch, then leave your bag in the backroom! Gosh, is that so hard that they all have to sue?

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