Apple Workers File Lawsuit Over Lost Wages Due to Bag Searches

Two ex-Apple employees at Apple Stores in New York and Los Angeles — Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle — are suing their former employer in San Francisco claiming Apple store workers are deprived of roughly $1,500 a year in unpaid wages.

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As the filing obtained by GigaOm reads, Apple hourly employees undergo two-off-the clock security bag searches and clearance checks when they leave for their meal breaks and after they have clocked out at the end of their shifts.

The bag searches are a uniform practice and policy at all Apple retail stores nationwide, and it has been in practice for years.

The former employees claim that Apple’s “personal package and bag search” policy results in staff being forced to stand around for 5 to 15 minutes every time they clock out for a meal break or leave work at the end of their shift.

The employees’ major complaint is that these security checks are uncompensated, so this class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf on them and other Apple employees working on an hourly basis, with the aim to recover unpaid wages, overtime compensation, penalties, interest , injunctive relief, unspecified damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, under the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The San Francisco lawsuit comes on top of the China Labor Watch report that claims that Apple’s supplier, Pegatron’s three facilities violate the human rights of the workers.

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  • FragilityG4

    Give me a break. Almost every retail company does bag checks. The fact is the number one thief to a company is their own employees. You can’t blame a company wanting to protect their interests.

  • CC

    So they are “ex” employees? Interesting.

  • Sam

    Yes but we get a paid for the time it takes for the search. Unlike greedy Apple.

  • FragilityG4

    Than you’re lucky. Most companies I worked with or know of, did them after employees clocked out. Why should they pay employees for the check if its employees that are forcing them to have to check?

  • ryanrobert

    I’ve worked many retail jobs and always had my bag searched after I punched out. The difference is we may have had 10 people working in the store and Apple has 100 (I know that number isn’t true, but there a lot of blue shirts wandering around). It takes much less time to check 10 people than it does to check an entire Apple staff.

  • Jason

    But its not the employees asking to be checked. apple and others should just preform these checks 5-10 mins before a shifts and and let the employees go home after that. Easy fix.

  • FragilityG4

    But it’s because of employee theft that they have to resort to these measures … Why should Apple or any company pay employees for this security procedure when its dishonest employees forcing them to protect their own interests?

  • hank

    wow! really? some people will do anything to milk the cow. simply pathetic.

  • Jason

    The 5-15mins at the end of the shift means more to the employees then it does to the million dollars apple makes. if they need to do this to stop employee theft it should be done before the shift ends. if your off at 5 they should be checked at 450 and out the door after that.

  • FragilityG4

    I couldn’t disagree more. Think about us as consumers; at the end of the day we pay the difference. If its cost of paying the employees the ten minutes or the stole product in general it’s always passed on to the consumer. And as I’ve said before why should the employees be paid for something some of them have created? If there was no theft than there’s no checks; but employees steal the most.
    At the end of the day if the employees do not like the policy, a policy many companies have in place, they are free to find a job elsewhere that does not follow this structure. Suing the company after they have left said company is just an attempt to grab some quick cash.

  • Jason

    Not saying they should sue for the money, nor am i saying these checks shouldn’t happen. I do think these checks should take place on companies time not your personal time. move the security check from 5-15 mins after their shift to before it.

  • FragilityG4

    But why should the company give up money for something the bad employees have forced them to do? I’m sure all companies would prefer to not do these checks but they’re forced to do so when people steal from them. Just like when they hire floor walkers to find customers who are stealing (a job I once possessed).
    Forgive me if I’m way off, but it sounds like you believe the employees should be rewarded for not stealing by paying them for said time. This sounds like employees wanting to bank sick days to get paid out at retirement; rewarded for showing up to work.