Apple will pay US$30.5 million to settle claims it didn’t pay store workers for time spent having their bags and iPhones searched at their end of the shifts, reports Bloomberg Law.
The lawsuitcovers 14,683 California employees, the largest reported settlement in a security search case in state history, plaintiffs’ counsel said. The settlement was approved by Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and comes nine years after the case was filed. Bloomberg Law says Apple has since ceased the practice of requiring workers to clock out and wait to have their belongings searched.
In November 2021 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.
In December 2021 the settlement was given provisional approval by a court. The judge said that the agreement wasn’t perfect, but is good enough to be allowed to proceed.
The 2013 lawsuit alleged that Apple should pay employees for the time it takes to do security bag checks. These checks were 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.