Apple has to pay $30.5 million (about 30 million euros) in a settlement to about 15,000 store employees in various US Apple stores. A judge in California has decided, according to Reuters reports. Apple Store employees are suing Apple for allegedly deceiving them by not paying them for time spent on security checks after their shifts. The case lasted nearly ten years.
Nearly 15,000 workers from California participated in the process. Store employees claimed that after the time was up, they often had to wait several minutes, sometimes longer, for their bags to be checked before they could leave the stores they worked in. With the settlement approved, they will each now receive an average of $1,300 (1,280 euros), Bloomberg reports. The attorneys will receive a total of 30 percent of the settlement amount.
The case was dismissed by a judge in 2015. It was found that employees were not under the company’s control during security checks because they did not have to bring their personal belongings to work that should be checked. A federal appeals court has asked the California Supreme Court to consider whether time spent on post-shift checks should be compensated under state law that requires employees to be paid while they undergo mandatory security checks.
The state court ruled against Apple in 2020 because it was impractical to expect employees not to bring personal belongings to work. Then the Federal Court revived the case and launched a damages suit. This has now been completed for the benefit of the staff.
Also other big companies
Apple isn’t the only company facing similar lawsuits. US retail chains Walmart and Amazon.com have also had to pay a large sum in the past in a lawsuit with their employees. For example, last year Amazon and a recruitment agency agreed to pay $8.7 million (€8.5 million) to 42,000 warehouse workers to settle one of those cases.
The Starbucks coffee chain was also reprimanded by California’s top judge a few years ago. The judge ruled that Starbucks must pay its employees extra salaries after they were laid off because they had to perform a time-consuming task after their shift that the company did not consider in compensation.
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