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

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  • Reply 181 of 235
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    I see little chance of harm to a company (and certainly not Apple) from paying for mandated wait times, minimally for at least inordinately long ones, while a much greater chance of undue hardship on the hourly employees. Without a financial incentive to see they're done efficiently and quickly they are at the mercy of an employer with other things they may find more important to the business than some hourly employee being able to leave on time.

    You added this after I posted, so I feel compelled to respond.

     

    As I've said, and you've never really responded to (except for #7):

    1) You start down a slippery slope if you allow something like this.

    2) There is no "mandated" wait time. And, you're probably exaggerating the wait time in your own mind.

    3) It is wrong and condescending to characterize Apple as employer at "whose mercy" its typical employees operate. It is certainly no more or less so than any major, decent, forward-thinking company such as Google of Facebook or IBM or Amazon or .... If you think Apple is more, show us some evidence.

    4) It is not "some hourly employee." It's tens of thousands of retail workers to whom Apple's policy is tailored.

    5) Apple provides lots of very generous benefits to its employees.

    6) Apple, like any other retailer, has to worry about retail theft. This is a serious issue in American business.

    7) The court sided with Apple.

  • Reply 182 of 235
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,452member
    bkkcanuck wrote: »

    I don't believe the lawsuit would have been taken up unless the lawyers saw a big payday - which Apple provided it.
    Don't care about the lawyers either as they are a result of the initial issue. I don't think it should ever have come to the point that employees would seek one out.
  • Reply 183 of 235
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    Not one whit. That comment as you well know concerned the possibility of Apple employing "terrible manager(s), ...bad for employee morale, and should be fired outright. " That has nothing to do with paying those retail employees for the time needed to complete the mandated checks.



    I hope you're not sneaking towards misstating my points in order to "win". There is no win, just what is right and what isn't, nevermind that it might be legal.

    No, I did not know. Are you saying that Apple "may not fire a manager [who's] bad for employee morale"? Seriously? You must think that the company is stupid, or nuts.

     

    "Win" what? Is there a prize?

     

    I'd be the first to concede, if you can actually make a point with which I agree. Perhaps you could be a tad less lazy and do a better job of providing more context to your reply than something as trite as "Apple may not"? May not, what? Since you did not say so, why was it wrong to make an assumption? 

     

    (Add: I am going to call it a day. I've already wasted a lot of time being deeply disappointed by another long-term poster here. A complete waste of time. I have no energy for another long conversation that descends into childish crap. If I have the time or energy, I'll pick up on it tomorrow. Good night).

  • Reply 184 of 235
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,452member
    You added this after I posted, so I feel compelled to respond.

    As I've said, and you've never really responded to (except for #7):
    1) You start down a slippery slope if you allow something like this.
    2) There is no "mandated" wait time. And, you're probably exaggerating the wait time in your own mind.
    3) It is wrong and condescending to characterize Apple as employer at "whose mercy" its typical employees operate. It is certainly no more or less so than any major, decent, forward-thinking company such as Google of Facebook or IBM or Amazon or .... If you think Apple is more, show us some evidence.
    4) It is not "some hourly employee." It's tens of thousands of retail workers to whom Apple's policy is tailored.
    5) Apple provides lots of very generous benefits to its employees.
    6) Apple, like any other retailer, has to worry about retail theft. This is a serious issue in American business.
    7) The court sided with Apple.
    1.. There will always be a 'slippery slope".
    2. The wait time isn't mandated. The bag check is. Fair enough. Pay them for it, minimally if it exceeds some defined reasonable time, say 5 minutes after clock-out. Personally saving that 5 minutes of pay ain't worth the possible hard feelings, but that's what I would do in my business. Apple's business is obviously theirs.
    3. I referred to companies, not one specific company. I don't think it fair not to pay no matter the company or it's size.
    4. Only hourly employees are affected in this scenario. Those working on salary are a separate issue, tho I would note many "Managers" and their assistants, particularly in retail and service, would earn more if paid by the hour. No I'm not specifying Apple either.
    5. Yes they do. Paying employees at their stores a bit more would be more beneficial. I doubt many of those $11/hr folks are investing in stock. Note too that many of them are part-time and not eligible for some of those perks (that would require them spending money to get them.)
    6. Yes they do, and yes it's a serious problem, that I too recognize as an employer myself. That has zero to do with compensating an employee if I require him to wait for a security check from me before he can leave the premises even tho he left the time-clock
    7. Yes it's legal as I've noted. Several times. :\
  • Reply 185 of 235
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,452member
    No, I did not know. Are you saying that Apple "may not fire a manager [who's] bad for employee morale"? Seriously? You must think that the company is stupid, or nuts.
    *sigh*
    Sadly it's becoming more evident that you are willing to misrepresent a point I'm attempting make to score points for yourself. Not at all what I said sir.

    Sleep soundly tonight my friend. Yes, tomorrow is a new day.
  • Reply 186 of 235
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,452member
    Perhaps you could be a tad less lazy and do a better job of providing more context to your reply than something as trite as "Apple may not"? May not, what?
    May not employ bad managers who deserve to be fired, exactly what you were talking about in your quoted post.
  • Reply 187 of 235
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    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.

    Welcome to reality.

    If you work in ANY retail store, you are bag searched. If you are seen heading to the exit with an item, purchased or not, you will be given the nth degree about waiting for security or undercover loss prevention officers to "sign off" even if you have to wait an hour for it because they're on lunch.

    How you avoid it, is you don't buy stuff from YOUR store. Don't bring bags.
  • Reply 188 of 235
    zonezone Posts: 53member

    WOW so much hate an ignorance here by people who have no idea what there talking about. So much hate for those who work hard for you and are the best retail employees in the biz. So much hate for those who do not have to do this at there jobs.

     

    This issue is not about bag being check its the time the bag check takes... as a former Apple employees and one of the first retail ones employees. Yes the original crew that started it all... here what I saw that happened to me and what I saw.

     

    You must be check out by a manager or you are fired. Its that simple!

     

    Have you ever been to an Apple Store? Do you see how crowded it is? Lets all play a game and take a guess on any given day how long would it take you to find the floor manager in a crowded store and then wait for him or her to check you out. Remember the manager most likely doing something else so you will have to wait till all customers are taking care of. THEN YOU MUST NOT ONLY LET THEM CHECK YOUR BAG BUT YOU MUST LET THEM SEE ALL YOUR DEVICES AND CHECK THE SERIAL NUMBERS AGAINST YOUR TECHNOLOGY CARD. HAVE  YOU EVER TRIED TO READ SERIAL NUMBERS ON APPLE PRODUCTS!! Yes I am yelling because how long do you think that takes and then multiple it by the number of other employees who could be in front of you or maybe there is a customer issue that need to be handle before you finish. 

     

    Average of 5 minutes to be checked, twice a day on average (every time you leave the store). For those people who say don't bring a bag guess what you still have to do it and check out your devices. That includes phone etc? Sorry now way around it and I did see employees fired just stepping out of the store for a few seconds. Please remember that at this point the employees of off the clock. Not being paid to wait.

     

    10 minutes a day, 50 minutes a week, 3.3 hour a month, 39.6 hours a year per person on average and its probably more than that. Multiple that times the number of employees and your talking million of unpaid time.

     

    So what you are saying is that its ok for the richest company in the work to dock a employee 1 week of there time waiting for "a bag check of the clock? In my book once you clock out your free to go and if it take you 10 minutes to get to your car that's your issue. This is different because of the threat of termination. If Apple want to do this then do it but pay people for waiting. Its that simple.

     

    I know its hard for people to understand that while Apple is an amazing company and has amazing product we all love so much that in the end its it still run by incompetent managers on the retail level. Some of these manager implement outdate policies for a company so good at technology, most of the managers I worked with and their regional people were really corrupt people, cruel and stupid. Most of them came from normal retail stores and this was Apples biggest mistake to hire someone who managed the Gap or Eddie Bauer ect. 

     

    This is a lose for every employee not just Apple's. This judge and the system at the end of the day are against the workers. There is no fairness in our world. While it might not be illegal its certainly not moral to not pay for someone time. Please excuse my grammar and spelling as I typing this very fast...

  • Reply 189 of 235
    davidwdavidw Posts: 967member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    I'm not missing that. The only thing under discussion is pay for a required wait.



    Let's assume your employer requires that all bags, containers and pocket contents be checked before leaving, and only by the manager on duty. It's 4:00, and you have an appointment set for 4:30. Since it doesn't cost the company anything if you're delayed for a few minutes your manager sees no pressing need to interrupt her phone call. She feels whatever she's doing is more important. So you wait. . .



    20 minutes later she gets around to it. You're late, appointment missed, hope there's' not a fee. Legal? Absolutely. Proper? Again nope. Not to me.

     

    Let's flip the coin. Suppose an employer states in their employees contract that employees will be paid for the time it takes to search any personal, non job related bag they bring into the work place. What prevents employees from bringing in a bag just because they know they can quit doing their work duties early to stand in line waiting for their bags to be searched? And the more employees bringing a bag to work, the earlier they get to quit.

     

    So lets say it takes an average of 30 seconds to search each bag and out of 100 employees, 50 employees brings in a such bag. That's 25 minutes that will be required to search all the bags, so that the last employee can clock out without going into OT. Do you let all 50 employees with bags to be checked quit their duties 25 minutes early? Or do you stagger the employees quitting time so that not all those 50 employees will quit working 25 minutes early? What about the employees that gets to go first. Those employees still has to wait about 25 minutes before clocking out and can't re-enter the work place to perform any of their duties, as they will have to go through the bag check again.

     

    And all soon, 75 of your employees starts bringing a bag to work because they see their co-workers, that are bringing a bag to to work, quitting early from their duties for the search, but still getting paid waiting to clock out. Now all your employees will consider the paid time waiting for the bag search as an on the clock break and there's nothing you can do to stop all 100 of your employees from bringing a bag to work and now incurring 50 minutes of paid search time for some of your employees. 

     

    And if your employees are in a Union, you can bet that the Union will encourage all your employees to bring a bag into the work place. Even if that employee can leave the bag in their car or it's just a bag of dirty laundry they're bringing to the laundromat after work. 

     

    I guess you can hire more bag checkers. But what do you do with the extra bag checkers when they are not checking bags as they are not needed any other time during the work day? Or maybe you can paid OT. But that would mean some of your employees will be getting 50 minutes of OT every day.  

     

    You will soon see that you are with in your rights to not pay employees for the time it takes to search a personal, non job required bag brought to work or ban all personal non job required bags from the work place all together. But the "proper" thing to do is to allow employees bring personal, non job required bags into the work place but they will be subject to search on their own time after clocking out at their normal end time.

     

    You'll be surprise on how many employees will realize they don't really need to a bring a bag to work if they know they will not get paid for the time it takes to search it and the search time can reach over 10 minutes. This will also benefit those that must bring a bag to work (students, bikers, bus commuters, change of clothes for a second job, large purses for the female, etc.) as the wait for their bags to be checked will be shorten considerably.   

  • Reply 190 of 235
    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

    So lets say it takes an average of 30 seconds to search each bag




    If that’s the metric we’re using, the only problem I see here is Apple needs to train their searchers to step it up.

     

    I mean, geez, get someone with some manual dexterity in there to just twiddle through the stuff lickety-split. I don’t care how deep a purse it is; 10 seconds should be the absolute maximum. And that’s even assuming a big ol’ shoulder bag literally full of loose change (and a stolen item hidden therein).

  • Reply 191 of 235
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     



    If that’s the metric we’re using, the only problem I see here is Apple needs to train their searchers to step it up.

     

    I mean, geez, get someone with some manual dexterity in there to just twiddle through the stuff lickety-split. I don’t care how deep a purse it is; 10 seconds should be the absolute maximum. And that’s even assuming a big ol’ shoulder bag literally full of loose change (and a stolen item hidden therein).


    It takes 10 seconds if you have no Apple products, longer if you have Apple products since they may be required to check serial numbers.

     

    It also depends largely on the speed and organization of the employee since they are the ones to handle the bag - not the person inspecting. 

  • Reply 192 of 235
    davidwdavidw Posts: 967member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    If the times are exaggerated then it would cost Apple an even tinier pittance to pay for them.

     

    If Apple starts paying employees for the time it takes to search personal bags, then soon the exaggerated time mentioned will not be an exaggeration as all their employees will see the paid time waiting for the search as an on the clock break and they all will start bringing a bag to work. And the more employees bringing a bag to work, the longer the wait for the search and thus the longer the on the clock break for the employees. 

  • Reply 193 of 235
    davidwdavidw Posts: 967member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     



    If that’s the metric we’re using, the only problem I see here is Apple needs to train their searchers to step it up.

     

    I mean, geez, get someone with some manual dexterity in there to just twiddle through the stuff lickety-split. I don’t care how deep a purse it is; 10 seconds should be the absolute maximum. And that’s even assuming a big ol’ shoulder bag literally full of loose change (and a stolen item hidden therein).


     

    If ten seconds is the absolute max, then these Apple employees must be lying as there's no way that any of them would incur a wait of 15 minutes on the average day. Even if there were 50 employees clocking out and all 50 employees have a bag to be searched, that would take less than 10 minutes. But I would venture to say that a good percentage of Apple employees do not bring a bag to work or bring one that don't take any time to search (like a small lunch box or small hand purse) and the 15 minutes claimed is for the wait it takes to search just a small percentage of the employees bags. And that's only if they're in the back of the line.  

     

    The thing also is that the bag checkers are not allow to touch anything in the bag. They must request the owner to open it and move any items out of the way if they suspect that it may be possible to hide a stolen item under it. If the bag have three zippered compartments, that may be use to hide any stolen items, then the bag checker must request the owner to unzip each compartment. All the checker needs is his/her eye sight. All this manual dexterity needed to do a search quickly is on the owner of the bag, not the checker.

     

    This is not like at the airport baggage check in where they can open and search your bag without your presence. But at the carry-on check in, the security ask the owner of the bag to open it and move items around if the x-ray detects a suspicious item in the bag. Security personnels  do not reach in and empty your pocket for you and will tell you to empty it if their metal detector detects a metal object on your body. 

  • Reply 194 of 235
    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

    It takes 10 seconds if you have no Apple products, longer if you have Apple products since they may be required to check serial numbers.

     

    Ah, I hadn’t thought about that. You’d have your own personal products in regularly identifiable cases or whatever; being able to unlock it should be enough to prove it’s yours...

     

    It also depends largely on the speed and organization of the employee since they are the ones to handle the bag - not the person inspecting. 


     

    Yes; policy could change to be “have your bag ready”, just hold it out, let ‘em rummage quick, done and done.

     

    Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

    The thing also is that the bag checkers are not allow to touch anything in the bag.


     

    More and more information. I see now. I... get it. Yeah, from a personal privacy standpoint, I get that. I think I agree to that policy even more than–formerly–thinking they ought to just rummage through quickly.

     

    But then it’s even more on the employee, isn’t it? The speed at which you can move through your own bag dictates how long you’re there. No wonder they threw it out.

  • Reply 195 of 235
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    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.



    What are you, a cheesy novel writer? What a ridiculous scenario. A few people sued, they lost, life goes on. I hope you're not a manager somewhere that actually treats your employees the way you imagine others do.

  • Reply 196 of 235
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,452member
    davidw wrote: »
    Let's flip the coin. Suppose an employer states in their employees contract that employees will be paid for the time it takes to search any personal, non job related bag they bring into the work place. What prevents employees from bringing in a bag just because they know they can quit doing their work duties early to stand in line waiting for their bags to be searched? And the more employees bringing a bag to work, the earlier they get to quit.
    IMO There's zero danger of everyone bringing a bag to work so they can hang around and have it searched after their shift is over. Most folks in retail/service settings that I've been part of are anxious to get home after a shift and many won't hang around even one minute longer than they have to. Relatively easy to deal with that rare employee that consistently abuses the policy. Same way management deals with any other problem employee.

    Bu since you raised the issue of a contract that's the perfect place to compromise. Set a reasonable time of say 3 minutes past shift end and put it in writing. If the manager hasn't yet taken the time to check the employee out they remain on the clock until he/she does. Is that unreasonable?
  • Reply 197 of 235
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by focher View Post

     

    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.


    I wonder if the time spent by servicemen reaching their combat destination should be compensated. I mean, their duty is to fight, not comfortably travel at the cost of the US government. /s

  • Reply 198 of 235
    davidwdavidw Posts: 967member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TechLover View Post

     

    I think congress should change the law.

     

    15 minutes a day is substantial and adds up to 62.5 hours at 15 minutes a day 5 days a week x 50 weeks a year. Well over a full work week in a year. Although it may not be 15 minutes every single day. So maybe 20-40 hours a year would be more fair, I honestly don't know. 

     

    Not to mention if that 15 minutes once in a while caused you miss your bus, or train, or be late to pick up your kids at day care, or any other manner of inconveniences. 

     

    All because of the presumption of guilt. 

     

    Apple should just have lockers and cameras. On the rare occasion when something gets stolen check the footage and fire the guilty party.


     

    There are employees that work in high rises and plants the size of two footballs field that require them more than 10 minutes a day, every day, to exit their work place after clocking out. And that don't include the 10 minutes it takes get to walk to the clock  when clocking in. There's no choice in the matter and FLSA is clearly on the employers side with this. That was the reason for the Portal to Portal Act. 

     

    There are employees that must spend 15 minutes a day walking to their cars parked in the employers parking lot and driving out the lot. Should they be compensated for that time. Of course not. If they want to minimize this time, they can choose to get to work earlier so they can park closer to the entrance or not drive at all. Though it may not be an option for some. 

     

    There are employees that must commute an hour by bus to work , others that have a half hour commute by car and others that only takes them 10 minutes to walk to work. Should the employee commuting by bus be compensated for the extra time it takes him/her to get to work? Of course not. Because he/she is free to minimized their commute time by choosing to drive or move closer to work and walk. Even if it may not be a viable option for some. 

     

    And that's the same with Apple employees and the time they have to wait for their bags to be search. They are free to not bring a bag to work and thus avoid the time it takes to have a bag searched. It may be not an option for some but not one of the over 12,000 plaintiffs in this case brought that up. So the judge assumed that all of Apple employees in this case can opt out of the search by not bringing a bag to work. Thus avoiding the time it takes to search a bag.  

     

    From page 15 of the judgement ………..

     

    >Our plaintiffs agreed to pursue compensation based only on the scenario that they freely

    chose to bring bags to work purely for personal convenience. Although the order certifying the

    class and the class notice invited class members to intervene to assert claims based on special

    needs scenarios, no one intervened. 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.<

     

     

    It is not a presumption of guilt. It is the only way to fairly use searches of bags as a deterrent to prevent employees from stealing Apple products. Apple have every right to use what deterrent methods they see fit. Apple can not just let every one with bags leave without a search as that would be not be a deterrent for employees to steal. Apple could do a random check of employees bag but that could lead to certain group of employees to file profiling cases or a presumption of guilty on some based on no evidence if by some random chance they got selected or select more than others. But by having all employees with bags go through a search, no one group of employees can claim profiling or any employee claim presumption of guilt as surely Apple do not think that all employees with bags are guilty of theft. But it is the only fair way to use searches as a deterrent to those that might consider stealing.

     

    When you're at the airport and have to have your carry on inspected, do you presume that the airport security thinks you are guilty of trying to smuggle something illegal on to the plane? Would you rather see no inspection of carry on done at all because there's no way for security to know who's guilty of trying to smuggling something illegal on board the plane and you don't approve of being presume guilty of it? You think airport security should result to profiling to only inspect the carry on of people that look like they might be trying to smuggle something illegal in their carry on, based on past arrest? You think airport security should only inspect the carry on of half the passengers in order to save time? Then would you feel safe on a plane knowing maybe only half the passengers on board got their carry on inspected? And to you, more than half the passengers looks like the type that might try to smuggle something illegal on board.  

     

    Airports has every right to use what method they see fit as a deterrent for passengers to try to smuggle something illegal on to their planes. The only way to use carry on inspection as a deterrent is to have all passengers go through a carry on inspection. Not because they presume all passengers are guilty of  trying to smuggle something illegal on board their planes, but because it is the fairest way to implement carry on searches as a deterrent to those that might think of trying, without the presumption of guilt on any of the passengers. 

  • Reply 199 of 235
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post



    Why so much hostility to workers here?



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

     

    Seriously? You want to be paid while in transit too? How about the time getting ready?  Don't like where you work...leave.  Don't like what the company stands for...don't buy.  But to whine about "lost" unpaid time for being searched is petty and retarded.

  • Reply 200 of 235
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,452member
    Seriously? You want to be paid while in transit too? How about the time getting ready?  Don't like where you work...leave.  Don't like what the company stands for...don't buy.  But to whine about "lost" unpaid time for being searched is petty and retarded.
    A very nice use of reductio ad absurdum sir. Well done. Your logic professor would be impressed.
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