Apple retail employee lawsuit over bag searches receives class-action status

The lawsuit calls for Apple to pay employees for the time they spent waiting for managers to check their bags

Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple's press event Wednesday in San Francisco

Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple's press event Wednesday in San Francisco

Apple will face a class-action lawsuit from retail workers in its California stores over the company's employee bag search policy.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup granted class-action status to a 2013 lawsuit brought by former Apple store workers Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle. The ruling applies to 12,400 current and former employees of Apple's 52 California stores, said court documents.

The lawsuit calls for compensating employees for the time it took to conduct mandatory bag searches, which were done every time workers left a store and meant to ensure staff weren't stealing merchandise. The searches were held after an employee had clocked out, meaning workers weren't getting paid for the time they spent waiting for managers or security staff to perform the search.

Employees claim the checks took between five and 20 minutes while managers said the searches took a few seconds, according to court documents.

The policy was supposed to be mandatory, but enforcement wasn't universal, the documents said. Because the searches wasn't carried out consistently, Apple argued the case didn't qualify for class-action status.

In 2012, employees emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the bag searches, saying the checks made them feel like criminals and were carried out in front of "gawking customers," according to earlier court documents. Cook asked Apple's retail and human resources executives if the employee accounts were accurate, but their replies weren't included in the documents.

Apple didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleCivil lawsuitslegal

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?