Apple Settles Case Involving Unpaid Time at Work

Leah Shepherd By Leah Shepherd August 17, 2022
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store employee with shopping bag

​Apple reached a settlement in a lawsuit over off-the-clock work Aug. 15. Store workers said the technology company didn't pay them for the time they spent on security screenings after their shifts ended. We rounded up news articles from SHRM Online and other trusted media on this topic.

Time Spent on Security Checks

Apple will pay $30.5 million to thousands of hourly store workers to settle a lawsuit over unpaid wages. Workers said they lost out on wages while waiting for their personal bags to be searched for stolen goods at the end of each shift. A California district court judge approved the settlement on Monday.

This is the largest reported settlement in a security search case in California history, the plaintiffs' attorney said.

(Business Insider and Bloomberg Law)

No Longer Conducting Searches

Court documents noted Apple's bag search process could take as long as 45 minutes, and failure to comply could result in termination. Apple later ceased its bag search policy. Representatives for Apple and the employees declined to comment.

(Fox Business)

Similar Cases

Walmart and Amazon are among the major U.S. employers to face similar lawsuits. Amazon and a staffing agency last year agreed to pay $8.7 million to 42,000 warehouse workers to settle one of those cases.

(Reuters)

Pay Employees for Time Before, After Shifts

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must be paid for time spent before clocking in or after clocking out on activities that are necessary to perform their jobs, such as setting up the workspace or cleaning up. The U.S. Department of Labor focuses on whether the activity is integral to performing the principal activities of the job. Employers should ensure time-keeping policies are in writing.

(SHRM Online)

Enforce the Policy

Employers should have a policy that prohibits off-the-clock work. Remind hourly employees that they must record all time worked. Let supervisors know that if they require, encourage or even suggest that an employee work off the clock, they will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge. Train supervisors to report incidents to HR if they know that an employee may have worked off the clock. If there is a pattern of working extra hours without permission, this may be cause for discipline of the employee, but the employee almost always should be paid.

(SHRM Online)

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