Apple Inc faces a class action lawsuit for $1,400 worth of uncompensated hours due to bag searches conducted across Apple retail stores in California. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup certified as a class action the case filed as Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle v. Apple Inc that was filed on July 29 2013.
Apple bag searches demoralizes employees
Plaintiffs Frlekin and Pelle alleged that bag searches, conducted every time Apple retail store workers leave the premises for meal breaks, demoralize employees. The bag searches conducted in plain view of customers created an impression that any retail employees have the tendency to become thieves or commit crime. Furthermore, the bag searches that normally take place for 10 to 15 minutes each on every shift, every meal, resulted to a total of $1,400 uncompensated hours per year.
One of plaintiffs of the lawsuit had personally wrote an email to Tim Cook in 2013, saying that Apple managers “are being required to treat valued employees as criminals,” Reuters reported. The email came with the subject line: “Fearless Feedback from Apple Retail Specialist.”
In the court filing, Apple argued that the “Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle v. Apple Inc” case does not qualify for a class-lawsuit since the bag searches are not being widely implemented and that the searches only take some minutes, hence do not deserve compensation. Alsup ruled otherwise.
Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle v. Apple, Inc.
The suit filed in July 2013, first reported by the Apple Insider, alleged that “Apple has engaged and continues to engage in illegal and improper wage practices that have deprived Apple Hourly Employees throughout the United States of millions of dollars in wages and overtime compensation.”
The plaintiffs said that at the end of every shift, as well as each meal break, employees are subjected to “personal package and bag searches.” Each search was conducted off-the-clock where they waited between 10 to 15 minutes.
“During any given week, one [plaintiff] worked approximately 50 minutes to 1.5 hours of uncompensated overtime. By conservative calculations, this equated over the course of one year to an aggregate amount of approximately $1,400 in uncompensated hours,” the complaint reads.
The class-action lawsuit included “[a]ll Apple Hourly Employees who worked in an Apple, Inc. retail store in the United States, who are or were employed within the three years preceding the the filing of this action by the Defendant, and who were: (a) not compensated for off-the-clock time spent waiting in security screening lines and undergoing personal package and bag searches before being allowed to leave the premises; and/or (b) were not fully compensated for this time worked over forty hours per week at overtime rates.”
The plaintiffs further alleged that Apple’s “unlawful conduct has been widespread, repeated and consistent” as well as “willful and in bad faith.”
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