Apple to pay employees $30 million to settle lawsuit over search policy

By: Yuriy Stanislavskiy | 15.11.2021, 14:04
Apple to pay employees $30 million to settle lawsuit over search policy

Apple has agreed to pay $30 million to settle a lawsuit by employees who claim they were forced to go through bag searches after hours. This comes after more than 8 years of litigation that began back in 2013. Apple repealed the controversial "bag search" (read searches) policy in 2015.


In 2013, employees of Apple retail stores filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that they were forced to go through a search process before leaving work, including searches of bags, purses, backpacks, briefcases and personal Apple devices.

In the lawsuit, employees said they sometimes had to wait up to 45 minutes after their shift to finish the search, and they were not paid for that time. Apple argued that the searches were necessary to make sure employees were not stealing products. Notably, according to the lawsuit, Tim Cook knew virtually nothing about the policy, and when two employees complained directly to him, he forwarded an email to his human resources executives asking, "Is this true?"

In 2015, a California judge dismissed the class action lawsuit, but that decision was appealed. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then asked the California Supreme Court to clarify the law. In February 2020, the California Supreme Court ruled that Apple must pay the injured employees for the "work hours" spent on the searches.

Bottom Line

Apple has now agreed to pay $29.9 million to employees of its California stores where the policy was in effect. The agreement between Apple and the plaintiff class must be approved by a U.S. District Court judge. The plaintiff class in this lawsuit includes 12,000 current and former employees of Apple stores. So, don't expect significant payments for such amount of "victims".

Source: bloombergcourthousenews9to5mac

Illustration: Jimmy Jin