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

Posted:
in General Discussion
A class action suit over Apple store workers' unpaid time spent in bag checks may soon be headed to the California Supreme Court, after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appealed to the institution for guidance.




In a Wednesday filing, the Court of Appeals asked the state's Supreme Court to decide whether bag checks are "compensable as 'hours worked' within the meaning of California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 7," even when people could technically avoid the checks by leaving purses, backpacks, and other bags at home.

"As a practical matter, many persons routinely carry bags, purses, and satchels to work, for all sorts of reasons," the court noted. "Although not 'required' in a strict, formal sense, many employees may feel that they have little true choice when it comes to the search policy, especially given that the policy applies day in and day out. Because we have little guidance on determining where to draw the line between purely voluntary actions and strictly mandatory actions, we are uncertain on which side of the line Plaintiffs' claim falls."

Any interpretation of the Wage Order will have "significant legal, economic, and practical consequences for employers and employees throughout the state of California, and it will govern the outcome of many disputes in both state and federal courts in the Ninth Circuit," the court added.

The original case against Apple complained that workers can spend up to 20 minutes per day being searched before being allowed to leave a store. Apple has claimed that its searches take only seconds, and pointed to the option of just leaving bags at home. A 2015 decision dismissing the case was later brought to the Court of Appeals.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,132moderator
    It's part of your commute, like a stop light at the end of the street exiting the mall parking lot.  The fact these workers came back their second day on the job verifies that they accepted the length of time it takes to get from their homes to their workstation within the Apple Store, and vice versa  Or maybe I'm from an older generation where people didn't cry about such minor crap.  
    muthuk_vanalingamSpamSandwichjbdragonjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 44
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    This lawsuit is absolute horse shit. There is no limits to whining and complete pettiness. 
    radarthekatboltsfan17muthuk_vanalingamjbdragonwatto_cobratallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 44
    I don't understand. If you don't like the policies of where you work or how much you're getting paid, then find somewhere else to work. It's completely voluntary. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobratallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 44
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,576member
    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)
    edited August 2017 gatorguySolilordjohnwhorfinmuthuk_vanalingamuraharaspice-boycpdprddawson100anomeiqatedo
  • Reply 5 of 44
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 671member
    It's part of your commute, like a stop light at the end of the street exiting the mall parking lot.  The fact these workers came back their second day on the job verifies that they accepted the length of time it takes to get from their homes to their workstation within the Apple Store, and vice versa  Or maybe I'm from an older generation where people didn't cry about such minor crap.  
    That would be my argument too, but these checks are required to leave work and not to get to and from work, if I understood correctly. I don’t really believe it takes 20 minutes but that’s another question. 
    Soli
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Roger_FingasRoger_Fingas Posts: 148member, editor
    williamh said:
    It's part of your commute, like a stop light at the end of the street exiting the mall parking lot.  The fact these workers came back their second day on the job verifies that they accepted the length of time it takes to get from their homes to their workstation within the Apple Store, and vice versa  Or maybe I'm from an older generation where people didn't cry about such minor crap.  
    That would be my argument too, but these checks are required to leave work and not to get to and from work, if I understood correctly. I don’t really believe it takes 20 minutes but that’s another question. 
    Just to clarify, that's 20 minutes total, spread over lunch, the end of the shift, and so on.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,106member
    Considering it works out to the equivalent of more than two full weeks of work over a year I completely understand the workers feeling they should be paid for it since they feel it's for the convenience and benefit of the company. I also certainly understand the company's stand that it's up to the employee whether they bring something searchable to work, so Apple feels they don't have to pay for the time.

    In all honesty it is a fair bit of money involved so I get the complaints, tho probably less in total over a year than any member of Apple's executive team got in recompense for working just today. 
    edited August 2017 anantksundaram
  • Reply 8 of 44
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,270member
    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)
    Seconded. 👍
    anomemacgui
  • Reply 9 of 44
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,178member
    This lawsuit is nonsense. Employees are chosing to bring bags to work so that's on them. Why should Apple have to pay these crybabies? 
    muthuk_vanalingamjbdragontallest skil
  • Reply 10 of 44
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,178member
    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)
    Your comparision to lawyers/graphic designers really doesn't even compare to this situation. Employees are chosing to bring bags to work when they know they will be searched leaving. If it's that big of an issue, leave your bag at home. Problem sovled. To make it easy, Apple should just outright ban employees from bringing bags to work, but they probably would get sued for that too. 
    edited August 2017 jony0
  • Reply 11 of 44
    The nice thing about topics that don't have a clear answer is reading all the people bashing each other over it. I get to see both sides. But more importantly I learn to think from both sides... of any issue. I think I become a more logical person after seeing arguments like this one.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    I'm surprised this even got to court, the Supreme Court ruled on a similar lawsuit against Amazon contractors in 2014. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/business/supreme-court-rules-against-worker-pay-for-security-screenings.html

    IMO: if I'm not on the clock, I get to do whatever the hell I want. If I'm doing what my employer wants… apparently I'm back on the clock. I don't see how this is even controversial. ditto for the example of lawyers taking calls. 

    And if these checks can really take as long as 25 minutes, that's 5% of your pay if you're on an 8 hour shift, 10% if you're part-time. Those are big numbers when you're on a retail salary.
    edited August 2017 cpdpr
  • Reply 13 of 44
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,178member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I'm surprised this even got to court, the Supreme Court ruled on a similar lawsuit against Amazon contractors in 2014. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/business/supreme-court-rules-against-worker-pay-for-security-screenings.html

    IMO: if I'm not on the clock, I get to do whatever the hell I want. If I'm doing what my employer wants… apparently I'm back on the clock. I don't see how this is even controversial. ditto for the example of lawyers taking calls. 

    And if these checks can really take as long as 25 minutes, that's 5% of your pay if you're on an 8 hour shift, 10% if you're part-time. Those are big numbers when you're on a retail salary.
    I imagine Apple's legal team will cite the Supreme Court ruling. At the end of the day, I'm sure this case will get thrown out in appeals as well. 
  • Reply 14 of 44
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,011member
    Here is class action law suit that Apple fans can file against Apple. Why ? To make it right for all Apple devices users. Do you know Apple says when you turn-off "find my iPhone/device", it will drop that device from the iCloud lock(security reason) and the device is ready for re-activation(for new user) ? While IOS settings software,back-end iCloud authentication servers drops the device; But Apple still keeps appleid/device association under user's appleid account. Why ? This has screwed millions who received their apple device clean from other users but when the device is needed to be restored than it will ask for original users appleid/password, otherwise the activation lock won't go away. So, why IOS don't remove appleid/device association from user's appleid account when the user turns-off find my iphone,removes it from itunes in settings and do complete reset and handover/sell device to new user ? I have tested this as testcase with my two iphones and just horrible. Apple keeps device hostage under security reasons which is false? Millions of devices are disabled because someone don't have appleid/password of original user and of not their fault because Apple didn't drop original user's applid/device association. There is a big flaw, bug in IOS and we need to file class action law suit. I pledge $10K to start class action law suit if some law firm wants to take it forward. If anyone removes passcode, turns off "find my iPhone and do complete reset than that device ought to be clean and never should ask for original user's appleid/password. Apple don't have clear guidelines/steps to perform before handing over device to new user. Help me if I am wrong !!!!
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 15 of 44
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,178member
    The nice thing about topics that don't have a clear answer is reading all the people bashing each other over it. I get to see both sides. But more importantly I learn to think from both sides... of any issue. I think I become a more logical person after seeing arguments like this one.
    The problem with that is there is no logic expecting to get paid for something you've chosen to do (bring bag to work). 
  • Reply 16 of 44
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,270member
    The nice thing about topics that don't have a clear answer is reading all the people bashing each other over it. I get to see both sides. But more importantly I learn to think from both sides... of any issue. I think I become a more logical person after seeing arguments like this one.
    The problem with that is there is no logic expecting to get paid for something you've chosen to do (bring bag to work). 
    That might border on being a reasonable answer if apple employees can drive to work and park just outside their place of employment, but it's not if one has to take public transportation.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 17 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,401member
    It's part of your commute, like a stop light at the end of the street exiting the mall parking lot.  The fact these workers came back their second day on the job verifies that they accepted the length of time it takes to get from their homes to their workstation within the Apple Store, and vice versa  Or maybe I'm from an older generation where people didn't cry about such minor crap.  
    Absolutely. You accepted the terms connected to the job when you started working for them.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,401member
    wood1208 said:
    Here is class action law suit that Apple fans can file against Apple. Why ? To make it right for all Apple devices users. Do you know Apple says when you turn-off "find my iPhone/device", it will drop that device from the iCloud lock(security reason) and the device is ready for re-activation(for new user) ? While IOS settings software,back-end iCloud authentication servers drops the device; But Apple still keeps appleid/device association under user's appleid account. Why ? This has screwed millions who received their apple device clean from other users but when the device is needed to be restored than it will ask for original users appleid/password, otherwise the activation lock won't go away. So, why IOS don't remove appleid/device association from user's appleid account when the user turns-off find my iphone,removes it from itunes in settings and do complete reset and handover/sell device to new user ? I have tested this as testcase with my two iphones and just horrible. Apple keeps device hostage under security reasons which is false? Millions of devices are disabled because someone don't have appleid/password of original user and of not their fault because Apple didn't drop original user's applid/device association. There is a big flaw, bug in IOS and we need to file class action law suit. I pledge $10K to start class action law suit if some law firm wants to take it forward. If anyone removes passcode, turns off "find my iPhone and do complete reset than that device ought to be clean and never should ask for original user's appleid/password. Apple don't have clear guidelines/steps to perform before handing over device to new user. Help me if I am wrong !!!!
    You're wrong! If you're buying a used iPhone from a private party, tell them to meet you at an Apple Store and have Apple look at the phone first. Otherwise, you could be receiving stolen property for all you know.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 730member
    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)
    Could Apple prohibit employees from bringing bags or their personal Apple devices to work?

    The answer is... for the most part, yes.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 20 of 44
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 730member

    Eric_WVGG said:
    I'm surprised this even got to court, the Supreme Court ruled on a similar lawsuit against Amazon contractors in 2014. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/business/supreme-court-rules-against-worker-pay-for-security-screenings.html

    IMO: if I'm not on the clock, I get to do whatever the hell I want. If I'm doing what my employer wants… apparently I'm back on the clock. I don't see how this is even controversial. ditto for the example of lawyers taking calls. 

    And if these checks can really take as long as 25 minutes, that's 5% of your pay if you're on an 8 hour shift, 10% if you're part-time. Those are big numbers when you're on a retail salary.
    That Supreme Court decision involved a suit based on a particular federal law, i.e. the Federal Labor Standards Act of 1938. The suit we're talking about here is, at this stage, based on California law which apparently doesn't mirror the FLSA in relevant ways. In other words, that Supreme Court decision doesn't foreclose the plaintiffs' remaining claims in this case.

    This suit had previously made claims based on the FLSA and other state laws which sufficiently mirrored the FLSA. Those claims were dismissed based on that Supreme Court decision. The district court then granted summary judgment in Apple's favor on the remaining California law claims. What we're dealing with now is an appeal of the decision relating to those California law claims. The Ninth Circuit has, in essence, asked the Supreme Court of California to tell it how California law should be interpreted in this particular context.
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