The California Supreme Court has ruled that Apple has violated the law that requires companies to pay employees for time spent checking backpacks, bags and devices in the workplace. The company is responsible for millions of dollars in unpaid wages.
In a decision issued yesterday, the court ruled that Apple Store employees should be removed from the country for the time lost during their search. The company never considered this time to be hours, but for the Supreme Court of California, the employees were actually working even then.
Like many companies in the United States, Apple has also long since activated an anti-theft program after numerous cases of theft by employees. The court estimated that the time lost by each employee was 20 minutes, although some complainants said that they were sometimes forced to wait up to 45 minutes before they could quit their job after their shift. Given the number of employees at the Apple Store in California, Apple will have to pay millions of dollars a year.
The lawsuit against Apple began in 2013, when two former employees signaled the company to demand payment for all hours lost during these checks. The judges explained that the complainants are right because these checks are not carried out in favor of the employees themselves, but only for a question of security for the exclusive benefit of the company.
Apple policy requires that Apple Store employees be screened at the end of each work shift and when they go on lunch break. Checks are carried out 24 hours a day and employees are not paid for the minutes lost during this compulsory and non-voluntary procedure.
For its part, Apple says that anti-theft measures are being taken in favor of employees, given that the alternative would have been to ban the transport of bags and personal devices at work. The judges are not however convinced by this thse:
In the circumstances of this case and in the realities of ordinary life in the 21st century, we find that Apple claims that its search policy can be justified as an improbable and unsustainable benefit to its employees.
We also note the irony and inconsistency of Apple's arguments. In its claims, Apple claims that the personal iPhone of employees would be superfluous to take to work, but this thesis is in direct contradiction to the many advertisements and public statements of the iPhone as an integral and fundamental part of everyone's life.
The court also highlights a 2017 interview in which Apple CEO Tim Cook said that iPhones have become so integrated and are an integral part of our lives that you wouldn't think of leaving home without your smartphone .