Lawsuit over Apple retail workers' unpaid bag checks may go to California Supreme Court

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  • Reply 41 of 44
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,461member
    Years ago I worked for Disney at Disneyland. They were very particular about your work apparel. They had to provide it and only they were allowed to care for it or clean it. You'd get to the employee gate, clock in, then walk over to the area where you would get your uniform, get it checked out to you, change and walk out to the area of the park where you were working. They didn't allow you to take uniforms home. Every uniform was required to be cleaned and pressed by them and thus they paid on the clock for you to come in, change and walk to the area of the park where you had to go. The same thing happened in reverse. When done for the day, walk back, change and turn in uniform, clock out and then go home.

    People keep noting that this stuff is happening off the clock. The point is Apple requires you to clock out but then doesn't allow you to leave. It doesn't matter whether it is one minute or twenty minutes. It is your time, not theirs. For people who consider it akin to a commute, why would you say that when you can't leave and go to your car or bus to go home?

    I'm sure in 95% of the cases Apple does a fair and efficient job of getting people checked and out the door. If as most people claim, it is just a minute or two, then Apple can and should put those minutes on the clock. They aren't going to go broke giving up two paid minutes for security checks out of an eight hour shift. If it requires substantially more time then it should be up to Apple to design a faster and better method of security checks. If it is Apple's time, it's their dime. No dime, no time.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 42 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    spice-boy said:
    Ah, techie libertarians, there you are. Precious. 

    Sorry but no. If an employer requires its hourly workers to do anything, they pay. Lawyers and graphic designers don’t give away free time to clients (even short phone calls): they bill it. Why should retail workers be expected to give employers free clock time?

    They shouldn’t. To say otherwise is being irrational in the name of brand loyalty, rugged individualism and bootstrapping, yada yada. Part of Americans’ odd infatuation with corporate masters and business over people. (“Corporations are people, my friend.” -Mitt Romney)
    Agree completely, we are also talking about the least paid employees at the richest company in the world, Apple's management should be ashamed. I swear some people who post here daily would sell their mother's soul if it helped Apple sell a million more iPhones. 
    They could find a better way to secure their inventory than a bag search. If they are worried about product theft, every unsold iPhone/iPad/Mac can have a security feature that is disabled when someone buys the product e.g the phones that are unsold ping Apple's servers with location info and serial number (store wifi for products without cellular). If the device stops pinging the server, they know it's been shut off and they'll know roughly where and when. If it's active, they can track where it is. When it's sold, the central system can tell the device with that serial number to stop pinging the server. Component theft may be harder to track but they can have boxes of parts that can only be opened with a secure card.

    Searching employees' personal belongings isn't a way to let employees feel they are a welcome part of a company, it says 'you just work here and we don't trust you'. If they only did it for new employees for a month or so, that would be reasonable but to do that to employees every day for years is unnecessary. The potential losses must be minuscule compared to the wasted time and downside of the distrust from the bag checks. How many products could an employee possibly steal before being caught and how many of their total staff would do this? If they had 5% rogue employees out of 80,000 staff, that's 4,000 people and say they each stole 5 iPhones every day for a month before being caught, Apple loses 600,000 iPhones x $300 cost = $180m (just over 1 day of profit) and they'd recover most if not all of it.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 43 of 44
    Marvin said:
    spice-boy said:
    Ah, techie libertarians, there you are. Precious. 

    Sorry but no. If an employer requires its hourly workers to do anything, they pay. Lawyers and graphic designers don’t give away free time to clients (even short phone calls): they bill it. Why should retail workers be expected to give employers free clock time?

    They shouldn’t. To say otherwise is being irrational in the name of brand loyalty, rugged individualism and bootstrapping, yada yada. Part of Americans’ odd infatuation with corporate masters and business over people. (“Corporations are people, my friend.” -Mitt Romney)
    Agree completely, we are also talking about the least paid employees at the richest company in the world, Apple's management should be ashamed. I swear some people who post here daily would sell their mother's soul if it helped Apple sell a million more iPhones. 
    They could find a better way to secure their inventory than a bag search. 
    Calling it a bag search is inaccurate, it was a "tech check".  If you happened to be carrying Apple devices in your bag they needed to be removed and their serial numbers checked.  Managers were not rifling through employee's belongings, in my experience at 2 different Apple Stores.  Also, the "tech checks" were discontinued about 3 years ago and now employees just punch out and leave.

    Also, employees were not 'required' to punch out and then have the tech check performed.  If one chose they could find a manager that was not on the floor, have them perform the tech check and then clock out.  But most times it took less time to clock out and then hit up the LotF while walking out of the store.  In general it was easy to find LotF, but an available manager who was off the floor might take longer to locate.
  • Reply 44 of 44
    dewme said:
    dewme said:
    If the bag checks are truly taking 20 minutes then the employees should be compensated. But I suspect that the checks take less than 30 seconds. I just cannot fathom how anyone can come up with the 20 minute figure without exaggerating way beyond the realm of reality, unless of course the person responsible for the check is busy serving paying customers, at which point each incident should be handled on a case by case basis and the extra cost to Apple chalked up to improving customer experience. Personally I think the people who brought the complaint against Apple are small minded and selfish, but what else is new?
    No they should not be compensated. There is no work being performed on the part of the employee. This is just part of working for a company that takes security seriously.
    Until the CA Supreme Court makes a ruling on this all opinions are of equal validity. Calling these checks “security” is a misnomer. This is actually a matter of “loss prevention” enacted by Apple to prevent financial loss from employee theft or “inventory shrinkage” as it’s known to some retailers. Most if not all retailers spend significant amounts of money to prevent shrinkage/loss prevention, from closely tracking inventory movement, requiring supervisory intervention for overrides to most POS actions, putting electronic tracking tags on items, to camera and human based employee surveillance.

    It’s a sad but financially a pragmatic reality because it’s acknowledging that implicit trust relationships between employers and employees only holds so much sway. Trust but verify. From a bottom line perspective, if Apple were to compensate employees for the ACTUAL time it takes to implement their loss prevention procedures that the company has put in place, even up to the bogus 20 minute claim, and only on an as-needed basis, the total bottom-line cost to Apple for its loss prevention program would probably still be a fraction of what other retailers spend to implement much more elaborate loss prevention procedures as an accepted cost to doing business. Yes, in an ideal world these costs to doing business would not exist. But when dealing with humans these procedures are an unfortunate necessity. Wish it were not so.
    They'd be completely irresponsible if they failed to perform any checks at their places of business.
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