Apple has a policy of requiring its retail store employees to undergo two mandatory bag searches per day. Two former Apple store employees from New York and Los Angeles filed a complaint in San Francisco federal court on Thursday regarding this policy. They allege 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. The lawsuit claims that the cumulative time employees spend having these bag searches done totals dozens of hours of unpaid wages, roughly $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 employ some 42,400 people in 13 countries. The retail outlets 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.
Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle, the two former employees who filed the wage and hour lawsuit, worked as "specialists," essentially an in-store customer support position. The lawsuit describes the bag searches as "required but uncompensated security checks," claiming that Apple violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and New York labor law and California labor law.