The class action lawsuit Apple retail employees filed against the company over unpaid time during in-store bag checks has been dismissed. Federal District Court Judge William Alsup ruled the mandatory bag checks, which were used to deter employee theft, were an alternative to prohibiting employees from bringing bags to work.
Court shoots down Apple employee bag check class action lawsuit
The class action lawsuit claimed checking their personal bags was demeaning and embarrassing, and that they should've been paid for the time managers spent looking through their belongings needed to be compensated instead of off the clock.
Judge Alsup disagreed saying employees weren't required to bring bags to work, and that the searches were a reasonable alternative to a strict no-bag policy. He said in his ruling,
Rather than prohibiting employees from bringing bags and personal Apple devices into the store altogether, Apple took a milder approach to theft prevention and offered its employees the option to bring bags and personal Apple devices into a store subject to the condition that such items must be searched when they leave the store.
The employees represented in the lawsuit were understandably disappointed because they were hoping to get paid for the time they spent waiting while their bags were searched. The New York Times said they're considering their options, including the possibility of an appeal.
The odds aren't, however, in the plaintiff's favor. The US Supreme Court ruled late last year that employee security checks don't have to fall under paid time, which led to Judge Alsup dismissing employee lawsuits demanding back pay. According to the Supreme Court, the security checks aren't integral or indispensable to job activities.
Judge Alsup said no employees in the class action lawsuit demonstrated that they had special needs requiring them to bring bags to work. He added that all employees could've avoided the delays by not brining any bags to their job—a notion that no doubt isn't sitting well with the plaintiffs.
Since the plaintiffs can appeal this case isn't over yet, but considering a similar case has already been reviewed by the Supreme Court, it doesn't look good for Apple's retail workers.