Juli Clover, writing for MacRumors last week:
Apple broke California law when it failed to pay employees for
time spent waiting for mandatory bag searches at the end of their
shifts, the California Supreme Court ruled today. […]
Apple requires all personal packages, bags, and Apple devices that
belong to retail employees to be checked by a manager or security
before an employee is allowed to leave the store for any reason,
including breaks, lunch, and the end of shifts.
Employees are also required to clock out before submitting to an
exit search, and have estimated that the time spent waiting and
undergoing searches ranges from five to 20 minutes. On busy
days, some employees have waited for up to 45 minutes waiting
for a bag check.
Apple has argued that allowing employees to bring bags and devices
to work is a convenience and has positioned the searches as a
“benefit” because employees could prevent searches by not bringing
personal items or could be banned from bringing personal items all
together. The California Supreme Court says that such a ban would
be “draconian” and that Apple’s arguments that employee iPhones
are a convenience are “at odds” with how the iPhone is described
in marketing materials.
This whole thing is an embarrassment for the richest company in the world. I can see how it happened in the first place, but once it got to court, Apple should have recognized that the policy was flatly wrong and settled it by fully paying wages for time spent in these checks to retail employees worldwide. No matter the employer, if part of your job requires time spent in a security check, you deserve to be compensated for that time.
But for Apple in particular, this is absurd. First, Apple Retail stores are, square foot for square foot, the most profitable stores in the world. That would still be true if they paid employees for the time spent in these security checks. Second, taking this lawsuit to the state supreme court left Apple’s lawyers arguing that employees don’t need to take their Apple devices to work. Who doesn’t take their phone to work? I literally don’t know anyone who leaves the house for anything without their phone.
★ Monday, 17 February 2020