Former Apple store employees file lawsuits over lost wages due to bag searches

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.