A settlement reached in an Apple Store bag search dispute has been given provisional approval by a court, according to 9to5Mac. The judge said that the agreement wasn’t perfect, but is good enough to be allowed to proceed.
Last month Apple offered to pay US$29.9 million to employees who claimed they were subjected to routine searches of their bags off the clock in a settlement proposal filed in federal court, reported Courthouse News.
“This is a significant, non-reversionary settlement reached after nearly eight years of hard-fought litigation,” wrote Lee Shalov, plaintiff for the attorney, in the proposed settlement.
The 2013 lawsuit alleges that Apple should pay employees for the time it takes to do security bag checks. These checks are done at the end of shifts and were designed to insure that employees were not taking merchandise from the retail outlets.
Apple won at the trial level in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which said employees of the tech company chose to bring bags to work and thus subject themselves to the company’s search policy. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit turned to the state court to interpret California law.
That court found that Apple violated California law when it failed to pay employees for time they spend waiting for mandatory bag and iPhone searches at the end of their shifts. Apple appealed and lost.
In March 2021, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said he was prepared to rule in favor of a class of 12,000 Apple retail workers in California who say they should have been paid for time spent in security screenings on liability, but that he would allow the tech giant to dispute individual claims on a case-by-case basis. He also granted a summary judgment to the plaintiffs.
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