Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Sued For Employee Bag Checks by Retail Store Workers

Apple Santa Monica Store

It is not surprising that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) retail store employees have sought legal relief to a very ‘embarrassing and demeaning’ security check purportedly as an anti-theft policy precaution. Apparently, the employees had no recourse but to seek legal relief, as direct complaints to the CEO of the company, Tim Cook, as far back as 2012, were ignored and no measures to ban the practice were made.

The court filing was finally available for public viewing on Wednesday. The employees had pressed legal action against Apple Inc. in 2013 and the complaints were sealed. The judge has now ordered the complaints to be revealed. One of the workers mentions that the CEO was informed via a message in 2012 – Apple managers ‘are required to treat ‘valued’ employees as criminals.’

However, the only action taken was Cook’s query if this practice was true, from his senior retail as well as human resource heads. The replies of these officials are not available as part of the court filing.

Two of the employees, Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle have filed before the Northern District of California court that the bag ‘searches’ and screenings are done every time the employee steps out of the store, including meal breaks as part of the process to prevent thefts.

Currently, the lawsuit is seeking to be classified as a ‘class action’ suit.

The aggrieved plaintiffs are seeking compensation for the time spent in the bag screenings. This is despite the 2014 ruling by the Supreme Court of US, dismissing a case by an Amazon warehouse contractor who sought similar compensation. The court had ordered that the employers need not pay employees for the time taken up by the security checks after the shift ends. The principle the Court adopted was – that ‘federal law did not’ view the screening process as a ‘principal activity’ of the workers and therefore could not order compensation.