Apple required off-the-clock security bag searches
Two former Apple Inc. retail employees have sued the tech giant for “millions of dollars” for unpaid wages and overtime compensation. They allege hourly employees had to wait in line and undergo off-the-clock security bag searches after they had clocked out.
Amanda Frlekin alleges when she clocked out for her uncompensated meal breaks and at the end of her shift, she waited for at least five to 10 minutes, without compensation, as other employees had their bags checked. In total this comes to about 50 minutes to 1.5 hours a week of unpaid overtime, totaling to about $1,500 in wages not paid over the course of a year.
The other plaintiff, Dean Pelle, is making similar claims about required bag inspections when he worked in Apple’s stores.
Like other retail employees, the company’s employee conduct manual specifies that all employees are subject to personal bag searches, and if refused employees, can be subject to termination.
Apple charged with California Labor Code violations
The plaintiffs allege by not compensating its retail workers for this waiting time, Apple has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as the California Labor Code for nonpayment of the minimum wage, overtime wages and wage statement penalties, in addition to the California Unfair Competition Law for “unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice,” and New York Labor Law for nonpayment of wages and unpaid overtime.
Yana Walton, communications director for the retail worker advocacy group, Retail Action Project, stated her organization has “secured back wages for hundreds of retail workers who have experienced wage theft” in New York City.
“Unfortunately, retail workers experience wage theft in many ways, and like employees at Forever 21 and Polo Ralph Lauren who filed similar suits, unpaid mandatory job functions are tantamount to wage theft,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Apple told ABC News that the company does not comment on pending litigation. The plaintiffs and their attorneys did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
Frlekin and Pelle are hoping to expand their lawsuit into a class action that represents Apple retail employees over the past three years. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs are also hoping to represent retail employees in Apple’s California and New York stores for even longer periods, the Associated Press reported.