Apple employees sue over daily searches, overtime

Apple employees sue over daily searches, overtime

Summary: In a lawsuit, two former employees claim they were not compensated for time spent waiting on daily bag searches while working at Apple retail stores.

Credit: Apple

Two ex-Apple retail employees are taking the tech giant to court, alleging that the firm should compensate them for the time spent on daily searches.

In a lawsuit filed July 25 in a San Francisco federal court, the former employees document Apple's screening process -- bag searches conducted whenever an employee leaves the premises, whether for lunch or clocking off for the day. Designed to discourage the theft of valuable Apple devices, the former sales representatives say that they were not paid for waiting time during screening -- which sometimes took 10 to 15 minutes -- and therefore should be entitled to compensation.

The ex-sales representatives allege wage losses of up to $1,500 a year due to the procedure.

One employee in the class-action lawsuit used to work in a Los Angeles store, whereas the other worked at a New York outlet. According to the complaint, the former Apple employees are attempting to represent all of Apple's workers in California who may have missed out on these wages over the past four years, in addition to New Yorkers for the past six years.

Lawsuits emerging internally are a rare occurrence for the iPad and iPhone maker, but the process is not unheard of. In 2011, employee Cory Moll formed the "Apple Retail Workers Union," a labor movement designed to secure better wages for staff as well as act as a conduit to improve the company's practices.

The union now has an established website, social media pages and uses the slogan "Work Different," a take on the Apple's "Think Different" advertising campaign.

Topic: Apple

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  • Apple greed

    Its simply sad and unacceptable to hear the horrible stories about people working for apple contractors from china. A devilish and immoral company profiting from others misery...oh and apple product pricing are a total rip-off... only fools will buy apple products...
    • Nice

      Excuse me, in what world do you live? You think other companies are better???? Every thing is assembled in China. And everyone, who builds the success doesn't really care about a misery of others. The stronger survives. Since many years ago. It is very convenient to blame Apple in everything .

      And then let's look at your smart statement. So then many of the GUI designers are stupid - they're using Macs. All the Mac developers are stupid- they work on Mac. Most of the mobile development companies are stupid - they develop for iOS, so, they buy Macs & iDevices. Millions of people are stupid - they buy the beatiful and usefull product they love. You are the only one smart on the Earth. If it would really that so , I think,we'd never see the statement like yours, here.
      Maria Davidenko
      • Not a smart defense

        The excuse that other companies are equally bad as Apple is not really a smart defense. You and I should be pushing for Apple to be better than the others not the same.

        Likewise, the market forces driving poor conditions in the search of increased share price, do not always provide us with the best results.
        Robert Darwin
        • Agreed.

          It's like saying "deal with the fact that I hit you, because other people do it all the time."

          My take on her statement is that she has her Mac, iPad, and iPhone, so who cares about the misery of others, they should accept the way of things.
          William Farrel
        • Defense? It's not a defense..

          ...but the statement of facts. Is it wise to say everyone using Apple product is fool???
          I only said, that every successfully company in this world, has bunch of pain ,suffering and misery of others ,behind its back. You can do nothing with it.Samsung,Google,Apple,Microsoft,Intel... whatever. Their success in a certain meaning is based on the pain of others. As a human - it is sad to know. As a customer of Apple - I love their products and own some of them. They fit my needs at 100%. I buy them, when I need it, so then I'm fool?

          And then about poor conditions. Bags screening is the poor conditions? But how the company can fight against the thieves?
          Maria Davidenko
          • Don't spill your koolaid

            We know you're fully paid up to the apple fanbois club Maria but seriously, look who you're responding to.

            Also for the record, it isn't fact, it's your opinion. Try not to confuse the two in your rabid defence of apple.
            Little Old Man
          • :-)

            I loved your "fully paid up to the apple fanbois club". :-) Seriously. :-)
            Also for the record, everyone here writes their opinions - whether it supported or not supported by facts.
            Maria Davidenko
          • Your words:

            "but the statement of facts" - seems you can't tell the difference or can't read what you wrote?

            And yes, seriously, when have you ever written any comments that don't praise apple or defend them from ridicule. You do understand what fanboy means I take it?
            Little Old Man
  • One Sided

    These employees never made personal phone calls, got on the internet for personal reasons, or spent an extra ten minutes or so in the bathroom on company time?
    • That's not the issue.

      it's losing 15 minutes of break time/Lunch each day waiting to be searched, by people looking for something they don't have.

      I think the fact that they do search everyone as an insult, as they're "labeling" every employee as a thief, or potential thief.

      And then to have to pay for that honor of being viewed as a thief...
      William Farrel
      • Too right

        If they insist on bag searches etc, let it be in paid work time, it's not acceptable that it should encroach into personal time. That's ignoring the fact that they assume all employees are potential thieves they just haven't caught yet!
        Little Old Man
        • I have the same complaint about Costco / Sams Club

          Don't these warehouse places check their customers on the way out the door? I don't have a membership at any of these places but I do recall one time I went with a friend to buy a USB hard drive. After purchasing we had to wait behind a line of people being checked. I thought it foolish I had to wait in line to leave and walked out the door. Wow...did that cause a fuss. The individual doing the checking pursued me out the door and insisted I had to show him my receipt. When I refused he attempted to block my path. I told him unless he had reason to believe I had stolen something he had no right to block my path. Eventually he yielded and it looked as if he was attempting to record my friends license plate number. I had a similar type of incident at Best Buy. So it happens elsewhere. And to customers too.
          • You have the right approach.

            Apart from it being your friend's number plate that may have been recorded, you did the right thing. If companies expect customers to be searched then they should either reward them for the time waiting in line or skip the searches unless they have a reasonable cause for concern.

            Of course, the small print for signing-up for a warehouse card probably has a mention of searches but don't get me started on small print - contract text size should be relative to importance, i.e. if it's small then it's not important.
            Robert Darwin
        • ?

          But some of them could really be,no? When I worked at Partner Communications Company in the Billing R
          Maria Davidenko
          • ??

            But some of them could really be,no? When I worked at Partner Communications Company in the Billing R
            Maria Davidenko
          • ???

            But some of them could really be,no? When I worked at Partner Communications Company in the Billing R&D we couldn't take a piece of paper out of the building without dozen of permissions. And, by the way, the "guests" could not bring something in. Why wonder, that giant like Apple scans the bags of their employees? Should be unpleasant , though
            Maria Davidenko
          • By your logic

            You could be a thief and should have no complaints that any shop or law officer can stop you and search your bag presuming you to be a thief.

            That's not how the world works unless you're desperately trying to defend apple, again. Read what I wrote, it's about who's time the searches take place in.
            Little Old Man
      • Search

        You said, "I think the fact that they do search everyone as an insult, as they're "labeling" every employee as a thief, or potential thief." I take it you have flown recently. THe TSA labels every flier a 'terrorist' even 5 year olds and grandmas in wheelchairs. Now THAT'S insulting.

        Checking employees is nothing new. Many years ago I worked at a Dept. of Energy facility. Every employee's ID was scanned when they entered or left the facility. Their personal possessions were also searched.
        • Whose time is it anyway?

          I presume you weren't paid either for the time the search took place?
          If not then I think you should have been.
          Robert Darwin