Federal judge dismisses Apple Store workers’ request for compensation for security screenings
In a Saturday ruling, U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California said that Apple Store employees are not required to be compensated for the time which Apple takes in searching their bags when they enter or exit the stores.
The ruling by Judge Alsup comes in a two-year-long legal scuffle between Apple and its retail store employees in California. Via the lawsuit against Apple, nearly 12,000 Apple workers had opposed the company’s security policy which requires a mandatory search of the employees’ bags whenever they enter or leave the store, even during meal breaks.
The employees had put forth the argument that the bag-searches carried out by Apple – to avoid theft of products from stores - are embarrassing as well as demeaning. The employees also said that Apple should compensate them for the time it spends in carrying out the anti-theft screenings at its stores.
However, turning down the arguments of the Apple retail workers, Judge Alsup said in his verdict that security screenings are not part of the workers’ regular duties, and hence they cannot seek compensation for the time spent in undergoing bag-searches.
In his ruling favoring Apple, Judge Alsup said: “The ability to bring a bag into Apple’s stores is simply an optional benefit with a string attached — the requirement to undergo searches.” The judge also added: "Our plaintiffs could all freely choose not to bring bags to work, thereby avoiding Apple's restrictions during exit searches. That free choice is fatal to their claims."
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