Apple Store Workers Complained Directly to Tim Cook About Bag Searches

Tim Cook was informed via email by at least two retail store workers about the embarrassing security checks they needed to go through, a court filing revealed yesterday, as reported by Reuters.


Two emails have been uncovered by the filing, one of which came from a Beijing-based Apple Store worker.

In the 2012 email to Cook, with a subject line “Fearless Feedback from Apple Retail Specialist,” the employee said Apple’s policy implies the company does not trust its workers. “These procedures are often performed in front of gawking customers,” the employee wrote, adding that workers deserve to be treated with the same respect that Apple shows customers.

Another email, sent by a retail worker in Beijing to Cook and other managers in 2013, said Apple treats its employees “as animals” and thieves. It also said an emergency exit in the store is blocked by Apple products.

Apple CEO Tim Cook forwarded this email to top retail and human resources executives and asked them: “Is this true?”.

You may recall that a lawsuit was filed against Apple in 2013 by two plaintiffs, Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle, who claimed that bag searches were conducted each time a sales rep left the store. These “screens” are meant to fight theft, but as a result workers are deprived of roughly $1,500 per year in unpaid wages.

Apple’s position on the matter – as presented by lawyers – is that these workers brought security checks on themselves as, according to Apple’s policy, screens aren’t mandatory.

A hearing in the lawsuit will take place on July 2.