Apple must pay $30 million to workers whose personal belongings were scanned

District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco approved the settlement.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Apple must pay $30 million to workers whose personal belongings were scanned

A FEDERAL judge in California has approved a $30.5 million settlement in a nearly decade-long lawsuit against Apple Inc. laid off 15,000 workers because it did not pay them for the time they spent in security checks after their shifts ended.

District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco approved the settlement in the 2013 class-action lawsuit. Prosecutors alleged that workers waited several minutes before checking out, sometimes longer, so that their bags could be checked before they were allowed to leave the stores where they worked.

Each of the more than 14,000 former and current Apple workers affected will get an average payment of $1,328, the largest settlement of a security search case in California's history, according to a report by Bloomberg Law.

This massive payout comes after a years-long legal battle between California Apple store employees and their parent company. The case was initially filed in July 2013. The lawsuit claimed that Apple violated California labor laws by failing to pay its store workers while they waited in line to get their bags checked on the way out of the store for meal breaks and at the end of their shifts.

The suit alleged that the time spent waiting for security checks amounted to up to 1.5 hours of unpaid work each week for some employees, or approximately $1,500 per year. Bag checks are a common practice in many retail stores with employees who have access to store inventory.

Apple could not be reached for comment by Insider, though the company no longer requires employees to clock out before their bags are searched, according to Bloomberg. The settlement comes amid a wave of unionization efforts at Apple stores.

In June, employees at an Apple store in Towson, Maryland, became the first Apple store to officially vote to unionize.

It's not just Apple

In 2020, the California Supreme Court used the case to rule that state law requires employees to be paid for the time they spend going through mandatory security checks.

Walmart Inc. and Amazon.com.Inc are also among large US employers facing similar lawsuits. Amazon and the recruitment agency agreed last year to pay $8.7 million for 42,000 warehouse workers.

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