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The court has approved Apple's $30M settlement over worker bag checks


By TechThop Team

Posted on: 16 Aug, 2022

Apple's $30 million settlement in a lawsuit that accused it of not paying thousands of its retail workers for the time taken up by security checks after their official working hours ended was finally approved by a California federal judge after bouncing around California courts for nearly a decade.

A settlement between Apple and U.S. District Judge William Alsup was approved on Monday.Approximately 14,000 current and former Apple Store employees will receive a payout of up to $1,200 each under the class-action lawsuit.

The class action was filed in 2013 by employees of 52 Apple Stores in California. In the lawsuit, Apple security staff alleged that bag checks should take place during their working hours instead of after they have left the office.

The searches took between 5 and 20 minutes, forcing workers to stay inside despite having officially finished their work. Apple stopped checking bags in 2015, after years of practice.

Apple was sued on behalf of the state of California over the check it conducted outside of working hours, according to the lawsuit. 

As a precautionary measure, the company insisted that its employees should leave their bags at home to prevent them from bringing stolen devices or other valuable items home.

As a result of a long-running dispute between Apple and the plaintiffs, the Northern District of California rejected the case in 2015 after ruling that workers could have avoided the searches by not bringing a bag.

As a result, the Ninth Circuit consulted the California Supreme Court to determine whether the bag searches should have been performed on the clock or on the employees' own time.

As a result, the Supreme Court in 2020 sided with the plaintiffs, saying that Apple Store workers remained at the store in Apple's time before and during the searches.

Apple's employees are prohibited from leaving the premises with their personal belongings until they undergo an exit search, the court found. The judge on Monday waived through Apple's $30 million bill, adding that its decision should be applied retroactively.

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