Apple slapped with lawsuit over mandatory employee bag checks

After allegedly being made to stand in line for "required but uncompensated security checks," former retail store employees sue the iPhone-maker for dozens of hours of unpaid wages.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
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Apple's Santa Monica, Calif. retail store. Apple

Apple's policy of requiring its retail store employees to undergo two mandatory bag searches per day has now become grounds for a class action lawsuit.

Two former workers from Apple stores in New York and Los Angeles filed a complaint in San Francisco federal court on Thursday regarding this policy. These employees claim that they had to stand in lines up to 30 minutes long every day for store managers to check their bags and ensure they weren't smuggling home stolen goods.

Adding up these daily waits, the employees say they were deprived of dozens of hours of unpaid wages, which totaled about $1,500 per year.

"Apple has engaged and continues to engage in illegal and improper wage practices that have deprived Apple Hourly Employees throughout the United States of millions of dollars in wages and overtime compensation," the complaint reads. "These practices include requiring Apple Hourly Employees to wait in line and undergo two off-the-clock security bag searches and clearance checks when they leave for their meal breaks and after they have clocked out at the end of their shifts."

According to the complaint, Apple's retail stores, which span 13 countries, employed about 42,400 people and generated net sales of $156.5 billion in 2012. Most hourly workers make between minimum wage and $18.75 per hour and work 40 hours per week.

The two former employees who filed the lawsuit, Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle, worked as "specialists," which is basically an in-store customer support position. Describing the bag searches as "required but uncompensated security checks," the lawsuit claims that Apple violated both the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York and California state laws.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages and aims to sue Apple on behalf of hourly workers from its retail stores across the U.S.

CNET contacted Apple for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

(Via GigaOm)

Here's the complaint:

Apple Employee Class Action by jeff_roberts881