Judge dismisses Apple Store employee 'bag check' class action lawsuit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
A California federal judge on Saturday tossed out a class action lawsuit brought against Apple by employees claiming the company's anti-theft measures, specifically "demeaning" bag checks instituted in 2009, resulted in lost wages.




The decision, brings an end to the long-running case that was granted class status in July, reports Bloomberg.

The class, representing some 12,400 employees at Apple's 52 California Apple Stores, argued time spent complying with an "Employee Package and Bag Searches" security policy amounted to compensable overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The rule, put in place to deter theft of costly products, called for managers to search an employee's bags and personal devices (like iPhones) after clocking out at the end of the workday and, in some cases, lunch breaks. Plaintiffs claimed that routine wait times during these security checks deprived them of wages amounting to more than $1,400 per year.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge William Alsop said plaintiffs could have effectively bypassed Apple's searches by not bringing a bag to work. The class pursued compensation based on a scenario in which personal effects were taken to work willfully and for personal convenience, judge Alsop writes. Further, no members asserted special needs scenarios when given the opportunity to do so.

"Thus, our plaintiffs could all freely choose not to bring bags to work, thereby avoiding Apple's restrictions during exit searches. That free choice is fatal to their claims," he said.

Apple workers first sued in 2013, though Judge Alsop dismissed those suits in 2014 citing a Supreme Court decision regarding a similar situation involving Amazon warehouse employees. The judge subsequently allowed a few employees from the original complaint to represent a class under California state law.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 235
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 140member
    Boom. Sure its not convenient, but you shouldn't sue for your choice to bring a bag.
  • Reply 2 of 235
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 684member
    Sorry 99%ers.
  • Reply 3 of 235
    Wow! Common sense prevails sometimes I guess.
  • Reply 4 of 235
    aderutter wrote: »
    Wow! Common sense prevails sometimes I guess.

    Agreed! Now that they have sued Apple and lost, can Apple fire the ones who are still employed by Apple? Or, is there a law that prevents Apple from doing that's?
  • Reply 5 of 235
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,079member

    We need to understand also that this was not the action of thousands of Apple employees banded together like the picture in this article would have you believe. This lawsuit was filed by a couple of disgruntled employees claiming to represent a class of Apple employees. Class action lawsuits are misunderstood and are often the result of a single individual’s claim. Then this individual seeks to represent a class. There is no vote, no petitions signed, no mass gatherings of Apple employees clamoring for ‘justice.’ 

     

    I wish AI would point things like this out when reporting on such topics. How many times have you gotten a class action notification in the mail about something you don’t even remember? You were deemed a member of a class without your knowledge or approval. 

  • Reply 6 of 235
    Agreed! Now that they have sued Apple and lost, can Apple fire the ones who are still employed by Apple? Or, is there a law that prevents Apple from doing that's?
    In the uk that would be victimisation and illegal
  • Reply 7 of 235
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,479member
    It's time me to fire 12,400 employees.
  • Reply 8 of 235
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    How many times have you gotten a class action notification in the mail about something you don’t even remember? You were deemed a member of a class without your knowledge or approval. 

    My recollection of those notices - which recollection my be faulty - is that I was given the option to participate or opt out.

    I don't resent them, in fact I rather appreciate being notified that something which might affect me is being addressed,

    when I hitherto had no notion it was feasible.  That said, I can't recall ever tagging along, except for the one about Kindle price refunds.

  • Reply 9 of 235

    Apple is not going to fire anyone over this, why would they.  The employees spoke, a judge decided and Apple won as it should be.  They sell a lot of small high dollar items, so they are just protecting themselves, no harm no foul.

     

    Just go back to work and please don't steal any gift cards, OH wait that is another story about an Apple employee....

  • Reply 10 of 235
    Agreed! Now that they have sued Apple and lost, can Apple fire the ones who are still employed by Apple? Or, is there a law that prevents Apple from doing that's?

    What will likely happen is these folks will be bitter and resentful, and some of them won't quit, but they'll be lousy employees, and their managers will walk on egg shells about firing them over fears of a wrongful termination suit, which means the customers will suffer for some time until they quit or there's a good reason to fire them. And if they're a protected class, well, even worse.
  • Reply 11 of 235
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    What will likely happen is these folks will be bitter and resentful, and some of them won't quit, but they'll be lousy employees, and their managers will walk on egg shells about firing them over fears of a wrongful termination suit, which means the customers will suffer for some time until they quit or there's a good reason to fire them. And if they're a protected class, well, even worse.

    how do you know thats whats going to happen? sounds get-off-my-lawn stuff to me.
  • Reply 12 of 235
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,719member
    Why so much hostility to workers here?

    The whole "don't bring a bag" blow-off is yet another example of the utter lack of realism and empathy for others shown by corporations and apparently federal judges (who are probably not being searched, and are paid well, as opposed to the employees whose case they tossed out). "Doesn't impact me, so I've no problem with it". Fail. People aren't uniform or machines.

    People carry belongings for various legitimate reasons.

    The bag check isn't the real problem. The lost time not being paid for being searched IS the problem.
  • Reply 13 of 235
    dysamoria wrote: »
    Why so much hostility to workers here?

    The whole "don't bring a bag" blow-off is yet another example of the utter lack of realism and empathy for others shown by corporations and apparently federal judges (who are probably not being searched, and are paid well, as opposed to the employees whose case they tossed out). "Doesn't impact me, so I've no problem with it". Fail. People aren't uniform or machines.

    People carry belongings for various legitimate reasons.

    The bag check isn't the real problem. The lost time not being paid for being searched IS the problem.

    Well then it sounds like YOU need to work somewhere where your employer doesn't sell things worth stealing and then you won't have to wait in line. Example: The GOODWILL near my house is hiring. But really any office job position should suffice in that case. Or even corporate offices at Apple themselves - should not in a job that requires you sell expensive things
  • Reply 14 of 235
    Hooray! A blow has been struck against frivolous lawsuits and petty, clueless former employees.

    Apple should also petition the court or counter sue to recover their attorney fees, which were no doubt substantial.
  • Reply 15 of 235
    dysamoria wrote: »
    Why so much hostility to workers here?

    The whole "don't bring a bag" blow-off is yet another example of the utter lack of realism and empathy for others shown by corporations and apparently federal judges (who are probably not being searched, and are paid well, as opposed to the employees whose case they tossed out). "Doesn't impact me, so I've no problem with it". Fail. People aren't uniform or machines.

    People carry belongings for various legitimate reasons.

    The bag check isn't the real problem. The lost time not being paid for being searched IS the problem.

    I'm so glad Apple won this, if only to read that hilarious comment.
  • Reply 16 of 235
    razormaid wrote: »
    Well then it sounds like YOU need to work somewhere where your employer doesn't sell things worth stealing and then you won't have to wait in line. Example: The GOODWILL near my house is hiring. But really any office job position should suffice in that case. Or even corporate offices at Apple themselves - should not in a job that requires you sell expensive things

    he posted an opinion about the story -- why are you making this a personal thing about him ("YOU" "GOODWILL is hiring" etc..)

    grow up and lay off the ad hom attacks, keep the discussion to the matter at hand, not the people discussing it.
  • Reply 17 of 235
    focherfocher Posts: 619member

    This case was a foregone conclusion because of the Supreme Court's ruling in a similar matter in 2013 or 2014.

     

    But I always enjoy the armchair lawyering that comes out after such cases are decided. This was by no means a frivolous lawsuit - as evidenced that a similar case went all the way to the Supreme Court - as there was obviously a bonafide issue to be decided. Namely, can employers impose non-compensated time on employees for specific purposes. The decision was yes. While it may seem like a great idea to wrap up your view in the anti-lawsuit and pro-Apple of "screw those employees", you might want to consider the precedent set here around that aspect of non-compensated time.

     

    As for those who propose retribution on employees who participated in the class action, besides being blatantly illegal (not just civilly, but potentially criminally), it would be a rather immature way to run a business.

  • Reply 18 of 235
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    razormaid wrote: »
    Well then it sounds like YOU need to work somewhere where your employer doesn't sell things worth stealing and then you won't have to wait in line. Example: The GOODWILL near my house is hiring. But really any office job position should suffice in that case. Or even corporate offices at Apple themselves - should not in a job that requires you sell expensive things

    Oh please.

    Goodwill and an office are no different from an Apple Store. You can steal thousands of dollars worth of stuff at both.

    The bag check thing was stupid. Doesn't Apple keep inventory and security cameras around?

    Anyone who works at a corner store or bank knows how this works.
  • Reply 19 of 235
    idreyidrey Posts: 640member
    dysamoria wrote: »
    Why so much hostility to workers here?

    The whole "don't bring a bag" blow-off is yet another example of the utter lack of realism and empathy for others shown by corporations and apparently federal judges (who are probably not being searched, and are paid well, as opposed to the employees whose case they tossed out). "Doesn't impact me, so I've no problem with it". Fail. People aren't uniform or machines.

    People carry belongings for various legitimate reasons.

    The bag check isn't the real problem. The lost time not being paid for being searched IS the problem.

    Apple is not The only company to do bag searches after
    Employees check out. I have seen it many times and in
    Many stores including Apple. In all the occasion that
    I have witness this it only took a few seconds or a minute
    Max. Also I have friend who work in retail and in
    Apple and they are smart enough not to bring a bag in to
    Work because they don't want to wait for a bag search.
    My friend that works at Apple bought a clear bag, where
    She can carries what she really needs and in her way out
    Her bag check is always a quick and easy.

    Is not that people are being hostile here. They are being realistic
    To the fact that this "employees" are trying to be opportunistic and
    Way to greedy. This whole case was bs from the beginning. It looks
    Like these gold diggers only dug themselves a hole.

    It cost them almost $1500 a year! My ass. These people are basically
    Trying to clame that their bag search took about half an hour.
    Bull shit.
  • Reply 20 of 235
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    he posted an opinion about the story -- why are you making this a personal thing about him ("YOU" "GOODWILL is hiring" etc..)

    grow up and lay off the ad hom attacks, keep the discussion to the matter at hand, not the people discussing it.

    It wasn't a jab at that person. I was commenting on their "workers of the world unite" stance because they feel they have the right to carry bags, purses or backpacks to work and not be checked upon departure. If that's the case they should restrict their job searches for jobs where nothing is sold on site - an office job for example.

    This is similar to flying. People have a choice: either pack your things in your checked luggage or be prepared to be searched up and beyond the X-ray scanning process. Do these "workers of the world unite" also feel they shouldn't wait in that line too?

    I'm just saying this was thrown out of the court system but their "I want to be able to carry anything I want into work and and be searched when leaving" attitude is bullying their employer into submission because they want to do what they want to do when they want to do it. You know the "I'm entitled and you'll give it to me because I'm entitled via bullying people and it always worked in the past" attitude. This person even insulated the courts were "in on it" and you don't see that as "bullying via intimidation?"

    So his/her sullution is to work at a job where things are not sold on site. Like an office job, car wash attendant, etc. I only mentioned goodwill because it was in reference to working at a place where expensive things are not sold but hell on sure they gave "shrinkage" too.

    This person opened themselves up for criticism when they started the "everyone was in on this" bullying non sense followed with the regular "workers of the world unite" stance. My advice of their opinion was not offensive and offered them constructive "real world" solutions. "Work where they don't sell s**t".
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