Apple sued by own employees
The tech giant's retail workers want to turn the case into a class-action lawsuit.
By Tim Parker
Apple (AAPL) keeps its lawyers busy with its constant stream of patent lawsuits, but a new case was filed late last week that is just now making news.
This time it's not a rival company, a patent troll or one of the many frivolous suits that the company is hit with. This time, it's from Apple's own employees.
The case is Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle v. Apple Inc. The plaintiffs are former Apple retail employees who claim that they lost about $1,400 in wages per year because of Apple's security policies.
The complaint alleges: "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."
When an Apple employee completes a shift or clocks out for a meal break, the employee's bags and pockets are checked. According to the complaint, the employee has to wait an average of 10-15 minutes before the security check is performed.
At issue is the fact that employees aren't paid for the time they wait for the check. This can add up to between 50 minutes to 1.5 hours per week for a total of around $1,400 per year.
The plaintiffs are seeking to make this a class action suit that represents all current and former Apple retail employees over the past three years.
A security check of this type isn't necessarily out of line, AppleInsider points out. Electronics retailers and other companies dealing in high dollar merchandise often have security checks of employees, but companies like GameStop (GME) allow employees to stay on the clock until the check is complete.
This isn't the first time that Apple has come under fire for its treatment of its retail employees. A story last year by The New York Times found that employees were paid between $9 and $15 per hour -- in-line with other retail employees but lower than employees in other, less profitable stores.
The class action suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.
More from Benzinga
Legitamet complaint. If the employer is requiring an hourly employee to stick around to be searched, it needs to be on the clock. The employer has all the rights in the world to do it, but needs to compensate the employee for the extra time it takes. Time is money...
Seriously, you might get a half hour of your own time for lunch and they want you to hang around for 1/3 to 1/2 of it. That's wrong. These people are hourly employees.
Punch out after the security check. Simple.
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