Lawsuit over Apple store workers’ unpaid time may be heading to the California Supreme Court

A class action suit over Apple store workers' unpaid time spent in bag checks may soon be headed to the California Supreme Court, reports AppleInsider. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the state's Supreme Court to decide whether bag checks are "compensable as 'hours worked' within the meaning of California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 7," even when people could technically avoid the checks by leaving purses, backpacks, and other bags at home.

"As a practical matter, many persons routinely carry bags, purses, and satchels to work, for all sorts of reasons," the court noted. "Although not 'required' in a strict, formal sense, many employees may feel that they have little true choice when it comes to the search policy, especially given that the policy applies day in and day out. Because we have little guidance on determining where to draw the line between purely voluntary actions and strictly mandatory actions, we are uncertain on which side of the line Plaintiffs' claim falls.”

In 2013, former employees at Apple stores in New York and Los Angeles filed a class action suit, claiming the tech giant required them to stand in line for up to 30 minutes every shift and wait for a manager to search their bags. According to the complaint, which was filed in San Francisco federal court, the searches resulted in Apple workers being deprived of around $1,500 a year in unpaid wages. 

The lawsuit was filed by Amanda Frlekin, who worked at Apple’s Century City store in Los Angeles, and Dean Pelle, who was employed at its Soho location in New York. Both worked as “Specialists.”