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Apple Store Workers File FLSA Class Action Over Unpaid "Personal Package and Bag Searches"

On July 25, 2013, two employees of Apple, Inc. who worked as hourly employees at Apple Stores in California and New York, filed a nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act collective action against Apple.

The complaint, which was brought on behalf of hourly employees including senior managers, developmental managers, business managers, and specialists, alleges that Apple requires its employees to be "subject to personal package and bag searches" before leaving work or before leaving for meal breaks.

However, according to the complaint, employees working at the Apple Store are required to undergo this bag check after punching out. The complaint alleges that Apple Store employees may have to wait online for at least 10 minutes, all of which time is unpaid, before having their bags searched.

These personal package and bag searches are for the sole benefit of Apple--to protect Apple from the theft of Apple's high-value, small electronics--and therefore the employees should be paid for the time they spend waiting to be searched and actually being searched.

The complaint alleges that each plaintiff was required to work between 50 minutes and 1.5 hours of uncompensated overtime per week as a result of Apple's required bag checks.

Generally, the labor laws require employers to pay a rate of 1.5 times your hourly pay for all hours over 40 in a workweek (for instance, if you are paid $10 per hour, you must be paid $15 per hour for all hours worked over 40). If your employer has failed to pay you overtime, you may be entitled to compensation. Although many employers understand this basic concept, these same employers may still underpay their employees. If you are an hourly employee, the following practices may be illegal:

  • Required to undergo security/bag checks after punching out
  • Required to put on a uniform, at work, before punching in
  • Required to change out of a uniform, at work, after punching out
  • Required to perform work at home, including sending and receiving emails
  • Required to report to work early to "prepare" for your shift without being paid
  • Required to stay past your shift without being paid
  • Not compensated for time spent in training or meetings

If you were subject to any of these practices, or any other practice that you believe is unlawful, contact us to discuss your options.

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