A San Francisco court has thrown out a class action brought against Apple by some of its retail workers who claim that the company should reimburse them for the time it took for their bags to be searched every time they left the stores. They were also claiming the searches made them feel undervalued and untrusted.
The case heard before U.S. District Judge William Alsup, claimed that the company's policy of checking retail employees' bags as a precaution against stealing was embarrassing and demeaning and therefore employees should be compensated.
Attorney Lee Shalov, who is representing the plaintiffs, says the plaintiffs are "disappointed" by the ruling and will possibly appeal the decision.
Class members in the bag search case included more than 12,000 former and current Apple employees.
Plaintiffs Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle alleged “screenings” were designed to discourage theft and are conducted every time Apple sales staff leave an Apple store, be it for meal breaks or for business.
In his ruling, Judge Alsup says that Apple workers can choose not to bring a bag to work, and therefore would not be subjected to the delays of a search. He wrote no Apple employee has filed court papers "asserting a special need to bring a bag".
“Rather than prohibiting employees from bringing bags and personal Apple devices into the store altogether,” Alsup writes, “Apple took a milder approach to theft prevention and offered its employees the option to bring bags and personal Apple devices into a store subject to the condition that such items must be searched when they leave the store.”
Apple has declined to comment on the case or whether there will be any sort of action taken against those employees currently employed who were part of the class action.
Legal action against Apple by employees are rare and most legal cases the company is involved in come from charges brought by competitors or government regulators.