Apple has agreed to pay $29.9 million to reach a settlement with retail employees. In 2013, the company implemented bag checks (non-working time) when they were leaving work after or during their shifts.
Their lawyers asked the judge on Friday to approve the $29.9 million settlement. “This is a significant, non-reversionary settlement reached after nearly eight years of hard-fought litigation,” wrote Lee Shalov, plaintiff for the attorney, in the proposed settlement.
The lawsuit originated in 2013 when a group of employees sued Apple. They were requiring some compensation for the time spent on backpacks and equipment security checks. The case has passed the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court.
“If approved, this will be the largest reported settlement in a security search case in California,” Shalov wrote. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In the California Supreme Court’s ruling, judges criticized Apple for seemingly inconsistent arguments about the iPhone and other devices. In the legal dispute, Apple argued that employees could have left their bags at home to avoid being checked. Also, the Cupertino company said that they had to check their employees because they could have been hiding stolen devices.
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Everything Happened In 2013
Apple implemented this inspection in 2013, requiring employees to abide by the rules or face dismissal. The court found that Apple exercised control over employees, forcing them to find a manager or security guard before leaving the retail store for rest or before the end of their shift.
Apple argued that it did not control employees during the checking process, and they were free to leave backpacks and equipment at home to avoid inspection. The California Supreme Court disagreed with this description and referred to a legal requirement in the state’s wage law. The latter states that employees should get compensation while under company control.
We have to mention that this separate lawsuit only covered employees at California’s 52 Apple stores. They include 14,683 workers. So each of them will be getting up to $1,286 from the settlement.
In fact, back in 2015, a judge granted Apple’s request to toss the lawsuit. But a year later, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals revived it. The judge required Apple to pay employees for the time the company was checking their bags. As expected, Apple declined to provide any comments on the settlement. But we know that Apple discontinued the check policy in December 2015.