Apple defeats class-action suit over employee bag searches

November 09, 2015 12:40
Don't want to be searched? Just don't bring a bag to work, a judge told Apple store employees. Photo: internet

Apple Inc. defeated a US class-action lawsuit brought by its retail workers over bag search practices at the firm's California stores, Reuters reported.

A US district court in San Francisco ruled Saturday against employees who sued to be reimbursed for the time taken by Apple to search their bags to ensure they were not stealing any merchandise.

At least two Apple retail store workers complained directly to chief executive Tim Cook that the technology firm's policy of checking retail employees' bags as a security precaution was embarrassing and demeaning, court filings showed.

More than 12,000 current and former employees took part in the class-action suit.

Plaintiffs Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle alleged that "screenings", or bag searches, designed to discourage theft, are conducted every time sales representatives leave the store, including for meal breaks.

The judge said Apple workers can choose not to bring a bag to work and thus would not be subjected to the delays of a search.

"Rather than prohibiting employees from bringing bags and personal Apple devices into the store altogether," he wrote, "Apple took a milder approach to theft prevention and offered its employees the option to bring bags and personal Apple devices into a store subject to the condition that such items must be searched when they leave the store."

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