US District Court Dismisses Class-Actions Against Apple Claiming Unfair Wage Practices in Security Checks
A U.S. District Court Judge has dismissed class-action lawsuits arguing that employees of Apple Stores across the country deserve overtime pay for time spent in mandatory security checks performed after clocking out, Apple Insider reported Dec. 30.
The initial complaint, filed in June 2013, alleged that Apple had deprived its hourly workers of due pay because bag checks were performed off the clock but before employees were allowed to go on lunch breaks or leave at the end of their shifts. One example detailed in the document cites that an employee spent between 50 and 90 additional minutes that should have been counted as overtime in the screenings, amounting to a loss of $1,400 in a year.
Judge William Alsop’s dismissal is based on a Supreme Court decision regarding a similar situation with Amazon workers. The justices unanimously sided against the claimants in that case earlier this month.
Multiple employees in Amazon warehouses had alleged that security screenings added close to a half hour at the end of their shifts, an assertion Amazon denied.
The Amazon case had previously been allowed to proceed by the Ninth Circuit because the court determined that the screenings benefited the company and were mandatory parts of workers’ jobs.
But the Supreme Court’s decision, ultimately, rested on a 1956 interpretation of the Portal-to-Portal Act in Steiner v. Mitchell. The act establishes that employers do not need to compensate workers for “preliminary” and “postliminary” activities surrounding the workday, and in 1956 the court ruled that paid work time need only include “integral and indispensable” activities performed as part of the worker’s primary reason for employment.
Apple employees now have until Jan. 6 to present a new, consolidated complaint and convince Alsop that their case is different from the one already decided by the Supreme Court.