Employees who brought the class action in 2013 worked at 52 Apple Stores across California. Apple apparently thought it was a good idea to frisk staff after their official working hours ended. Basically it meant that Apple was forcing them to work longer so that it could have the satisfaction of knowing they had not stolen anything.
Each search took between five and 20 minutes to complete, forcing workers to remain inside the store even though they’d officially finished for the day. The practice of checking bags ran from 2009 through 2015, when Apple finally ended the procedure.
Apple agreed to the settlement last year, and on US District Judge William Alsup signed off on it. Each staff member will receive a payout of up to $1,200.
Jobs' Mob said that anyone who disagreed with the arrangement could leave their bags at home and not be frisked by its black shirted employees. What was somewhat scary was that the US District Court for the Northern District of California rejected the case in 2015 after deciding that the workers could indeed have avoided the searches by not bringing a bag to work.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided to consult the California Supreme Court for a clearer understanding on whether the bag searches should have been done on the clock or in the employees’ own time.
The Supreme Court sided with the plaintiffs in 2020, saying that Apple Store workers were “clearly” still at the store on Apple’s time while waiting for the searches to start, and also during the time that the searches took place.
“The exit searches burden Apple’s employees by preventing them from leaving the premises with their personal belongings until they undergo an exit search,” the court said at the time. It added that its decision should be applied retroactively, leaving Apple with the hefty $30 million bill that the judge waved through on Monday.