Apple, just pay workers for the time you spend searching their bags
Feb. 14, 2020
If you're going to inconvenience your employees by searching their bags, the least you can do is pay them for that time.
Apple, a company with $207.6 billion of cash in its reserves, doesn’t pay retail employees for time spent undergoing a search of their bags and backpacks before they leave. Managers or security personnel also check the serial numbers of employees' personal iPhones to make sure they're not stolen property.
The California Supreme Court ruled that Apple violated the law by not paying employees for the time it spent searching their bags, Bloomberg Law reported Thursday .
“The exit searches burden Apple’s employees by preventing them from leaving the premises with their personal belongings until they undergo an exit search—a process that can take five to 20 minutes to complete—and by compelling them to take specific movements and actions during the search,” said Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye.
It overturns an earlier District Court ruling that essentially said if employees didn't want to waste their time getting searched, they didn't have to bring their bags or iPhones into work.
The California Supreme Court ruling noted the "irony and inconsistency of Apple’s argument" concerning iPhones.
"Its characterization of the iPhone as unnecessary for its own employees is directly at odds with its description of the iPhone as an ‘integrated and integral’ part of the lives of everyone else."
The California Supreme Court concluded that Apple's workers are under the company's control while waiting for and during searches.
“Under the circumstances of this case and the realities of ordinary, 21st century life, we find far-fetched and untenable Apple’s claim that its bag-search policy can be justified as providing a benefit to its employees,” the court said.
The case will now return to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
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