Apple has agreed to pay out $30 million to settle a lawsuit from employees who say they were forced to face security bag checks off the clock. This comes after over 8 years of back and forth in the case, which was first filed by employees against Apple in 2013. Apple discontinued the controversial bag check policy in 2015.
This has been a long-running case for Apple. Apple retail workers filed the class-action suit against Apple in 2013, saying that they were required to submit to search before leaving for the day, including searches of their bags, purses, backpacks, brief cases, and personal Apple devices.
In the lawsuit, employees said they would sometimes have to wait around for as long as 45 minutes after their shift for this search to be completed, and they would not be paid for that time. Apple claimed that the searches were necessary to make sure employees were not stealing products. Notably, the lawsuit revealed that Tim Cook was largely unaware of the policy and when two employees complained directly to Cook about the issue, he forwarded the email to his HR executives, asking “Is this true?”
A California judge dismissed the class-action suit in 2015, but that decision was appealed. The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then asked the California Supreme Court to clarify the law. In February of 2020, the California Supreme Court ruled that Apple must pay its retail works for this time.
Now, as reported by Bloomberg, Apple has agreed to pay $29.9 million to employees at its stores where this policy was in effect in California. The agreement between Apple and the class must now be approved by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup.
The class in the lawsuit includes 12,000 current and former Apple store employees in California, according to Courthouse News. As it currently stands, the employees in the settlement stand to receive a maximum of about $1,200 apiece.