Bag check lawsuit against Apple may be allowed to continue, perhaps on a case-by-case basis

A federal judge in San Francisco says he’s 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, says Reuters.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup plans to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs in the 2013 lawsuit, about a year after the California Supreme Court ruled that state law requires that workers be paid for time spent in security screenings.

The 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 September 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Apple must pay retail workers for the time they spend waiting for their bags to be checked. THe following month the Ninth Circuit of California has amended a ruling in favor of Apple retail store workers who say they should be paid for time spent waiting for end-of-shift bag searches, giving Apple a chance to argue to the district court that the time was too trivial to merit pay.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.