apple store

Former employees at Apple stores in both New York and Los Angeles have filed a class action suit against the Cupertino company, claiming the iPad-maker owes them lost wages. The filing alleges that Apple forced them to stand in line for up to 30 minutes, without pay, every shift and wait for a manager to search their bags.

The lawsuit was filed by Amanda Frlekin, who was employed at Apple’s Century City location in Los Angeles, and Dean Pelle, who worked at Apple’s prestigious Soho store in New York. Both worked as specialists until this spring, and are now looking to sue on behalf of thousands of Apple workers across the United States…

GigaOM points to the filing:

“Throughout Ms. Frlekin’s employment at Apple, she was required to undergo personal package and bag searches before she was permitted to leave the store for her uncompensated meal breaks and before she was permitted leave the store after she ad clocked out at the end of her shifts. These security checks were significant, integral, indispensable, not a de minimis task or request and done solely for Apple’s benefit to prevent employee pilferage.”

The suit goes on to say that workers put in, approximately, 50 minutes to 1 and a half hours of overtime each week. And with average employee compensation ranging between $12.10 and $15.60 per hour, conservative calculations put their unpaid wages somewhere around $1,400 over the course of a single year of an employment.

This isn’t the first time that Apple’s treatment of its retail employees has been called into question. Last year, in a New York Times profile of Apple’s retail business, several employees came forward complaining of limited upward mobility and constant stress from the ever-increasing foot traffic, in addition to feeling underpaid.

It’s worth noting here that Apple ranked number 10 last year in Glassdoor’s list of ‘Top 50 places to work,’ and it’s well-known that the company pays its employees more, and provides them with better benefits, than most other major retail chains.

The damages in this class action lawsuit are not yet known, and Apple has not responded for comment.

  • Name


    • Tristan

      Congrations. You’re life has now been fullfilled.

  • Gorgonphone


  • quitcherbichinn

    1. i’d bet that it is known when offered employment that being checked is a policy…a LOT of businesses, not just retail, do this at the end of a shift and they don’t pay you overtime pay for it. quick solution…don’t bring bags with you to are there to work, not for a fashion show.

    2. it is retail! you bring MINIMAL skills to the have little to offer that is unique and the pay matches that. Apple does pay higher wages than most retail of a similar nature so they really have nothing to complain about. the nature of retail IS limited advancement because it is not typically a job that is meant to be a lifelong career and if you don’t prepare yourself for bigger and better things by educating yourself and getting yourself unique and marketable skills…well then shame on you! they pay WELL above minimum wage so who are they to complain? you know what the pay is before you accept the job…if you don’t like it then DON’T TAKE THE JOB. no one is forcing anyone to do so. take responsibility for your own actions!

    3. yet ANOTHER frivolous lawsuit to get a free payday. i’m sure it is all former employees? and i’d bet none of them bitched and moaned and asked for extra pay while being searched to make sure they aren’t stealing. i’m gonna bet it is bitter FIRED employees who have an axe to grind and think they are owed more than what they agreed to when they accepted the job.

    • Brandon Weidema

      Apple doesnt bring in people with “minimal skills” to their stores. I recently spoke to an Apple recruiter about positions at an Apple Store opening and was told that everyone there has a minimum of 3-5 years of direct experience in their role. They also dont pay “well above” minimum wage for the majority of their positions.

      • quitcherbichinn

        minimum wage is $7.25. if they are paying $12+ that is well above minimum wage. all of that is pointless in the end because the fact is….they know what the pay is BEFORE they accept the job. if they accept the job then they are fine with the pay and they have no right or reason to bitch about low pay. you can’t eat your meal THEN bitch it was awful and expect it for free.

      • Brandon Weidema

        Lol, is the american minimum wage $7.25???? I feel bad for you guys.

      • quitcherbichinn

        that’s what it is in New York…i think other states have variances and there is a Federal minimum wage but yeah…$7.25. it’s not something to strive for yet SO many lazy people don’t better themselves then whine and bitch they are underpaid when they are only qualified to flip a burger or fold a shirt…and $7.25 is more than either “skill” is worth. =)

      • Kevin Guzman

        $8 in California… and its still not enough!

      • quitcherbichinn

        minimum wage isn’t meant to be a career move. it is minimum pay for minimum skills. you are supposed to educate yourself and better yourself so you can make a higher wage. obviously there are situations that happen that get you stuck in a rut making minimum wage but where there is ambition there is opportunity to better yourself.

        you can’t solve it by raising minimum wage to $10 or more. the outcome is…higher prices for the goods and services you use/need. businesses/employers aren’t going to eat a loss of revenue…they are going to recoup that revenue by raising prices. so your bump in pay has now been countered with an increase in the cost of all the things you consume…which then puts you in the same position you were in with lower prices and a lower minimum wage. the solution is to get the education. those on welfare can easily get their education paid for FREE!! there is also the option of taking out student loans, applying for grants, financial aid…there are ways to get the education you need so you have marketable and valuable skills. there are better ways than frivolous ridiculous lawsuits trying to get yet another free ride!

      • Kevin Guzman

        Oh I agree with you, I was just simply stating how $8 an hour is still not enough to make a living. I was fortunate enough to land a high-paying salary job with no college degree at the age of 20. I am going to school now, but I can’t help but feel sorry for those unfortunate enough that try making a living off from minimum wage jobs – something that will always be there no matter how the economy is or what the government does to help.

    • AMB_07

      Your point about people not bringing their bags doesn’t make sense, what if the employee just came from school or something straight to the job?

      Also a bag check shouldn’t take more then 5-10 seconds per person, so having to wait in line for minutes or even up to half an hour is really not acceptable. If you want to make me wait that long after my shift to check my bag to prevent loss at your store then you should be paying me to wait.

      • quitcherbichinn

        i don’t believe for a second that it was a 30 minute process. this lawsuit stinks of crap. it’s disgruntled former employees looking for a quick buck. good luck to them in proving their claim of waiting 30 minutes and the extended wait when going on breaks. i call BS big time on that claim.

    • Alejandro Maximo Marez

      1. totally right
      2. the people I worked with at the Apple store were some of the MOST talented folks I ever worked with. Also, the hiring process was tough!
      3. another good point.
      Thank you for being a voice of reason. I worked there and NEVER felt ripped off.

  • Brett

    I worked at a store in Ohio a few years ago and I think I was making $3-4 over minimum wage when I started as a Specialist.

    On the infrequent occasion I brought a bag, it could be a pain to find a manager while the store was busy, but I never waited anywhere even close to 30 minutes.

    I would actually disagree with the “minimal skills” comment quite a bit. Almost all of the people I worked with were quite talented. I wouldn’t say all of them were tech savvy, but most of the less technically inclined employees were wonderful with customers.

    I would agree with the notes in the article about frequent stress and limited mobility. I know it varies by store, but moving up was a real challenge.

  • Kurt

    Treating employees like criminals? What the what? Who do they think they are Homeland Security?

    • quitcherbichinn

      probably because employees DO steal. statistically the most theft from a business is by employees, not customers. Apple is hardly the only company that conducts searches of their employees. it has become quite common and quite warranted, sadly. if i were running a multi-billion dollar company and my products were hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars…you bet your ass i’d be searching my employees after shift to ensure my product isn’t walking out the door.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    I sincerely hope Apple loses this case…

    • quitcherbichinn

      frivolous lawsuit.

  • Alejandro Maximo Marez

    I don’t remember it taking all THAT long to get my bag checked. Someone is making mountains out of mole hills I think. But, then again… I didn’t work at a “flag ship” store as big as say, 5th Ave. So…