Checking employee bags for stolen items before allowing employees to leave for the day is a common and understandable practice for many retail companies. However, employers need to be wary of when those employee bag checks begin to cut into employee personal time and puts the company at risk of a lawsuit for unpaid wages. This blog has previously discussed such a lawsuit brought against Forever 21 on behalf of all hourly employees who worked in the company’s retail stores. Now Apple has also become a defendant in a similar lawsuit.
Two former employees of Apple from across the country have filed a class action lawsuit against the tech giant for allegedly failing to pay all due wages. One of the plaintiffs worked in an Apple store in Los Angeles while another worked in an Apple store located in New York. The class action lawsuit is seeking to represent all retail workers who worked at an Apple store in California over the past four years who were not compensated for the time they spent waiting in line to have their bags checked. The lawsuit is also seeking to represent all retail workers who worked at an Apple store in the state of New York in the past six years and were not paid for the time they spent waiting in line for these mandatory security checks.
The lawsuit alleges that all hourly employees were forced to wait in line to have their bags checked for stolen goods before they were allowed to leave for breaks or at the end of their shift. The lawsuit alleges that waiting in line could often take up to 15 minutes. If done twice a day (once for a break and once when leaving at the end of the shift) this means that the employees each lost up to half an hour each day that they worked at one of Apple’s stores. The lawsuit alleges that each employee lost up to $1,500 in wages per year due to the required bag checks. With a potential class of 42,000 current and former retail employees, Apple could be facing tens of millions of dollars in unpaid wages.
According to the complaint, “Apple has engaged in and continues to engage in illegal and improper wage practices that have deprived Apple Hourly Employees throughout the United States of millions of dollars in wages and overtime compensation. These practices include requiring Apple Hourly Employees to wait in line and undergo two off-the-clock security bags searches and clearance checks when they leave for their meal breaks and after they have clocked out at the end of their shifts. … This illegal practice and policy has been known to the Defendant for years and Apple continues to require Apple Hourly Employees to endure these required but uncompensated security checks.”
Apple has not yet commented on the lawsuit but, given their recent persistence in the courts, it is likely that Apple will take this to trial, rather than attempting to settle. Apple has already refused to back down in a patent war with rival Samsung and another lawsuit involving ebook price fixing. The tech giant is also currently involved in another lawsuit over unfair employment practices, which originated in California and has already been settled by two of the co-defendants. Given this history, it is reasonable to say the employees in this lawsuit should not expect a settlement from the company any time soon.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart and other retail chains for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Mount Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Oak Lawn and Riverside overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.