It's great to see a company, particularly a large company, get slapped for this sort of behavior. It should happen more often.
Apple will have to pay its retail store workers back wages after the California Supreme Court ruled staff should be compensated for the time they spend every day having their bags checked by security. In a decision [PDF] on Thursday, the US state's top court decided that because it is solely in Apple’s interest to make every …
I've worked in a warehouse that had duty not paid areas, we were all expected to allow security to run scanners over us whenever they deigned, and we also had the basic pat down on leaving, the exit time was never great, couple of minutes max, and there were 00's in the warehouse, surprised [NOT] that Apple can't organise the proverbial ffs, how many people would there be in a store for this check, is it a strip check, or just a basic pat down
as it was years ago now, the Co was Fujitsu, warehouse in Warrington UK, we wore specific coloured polo shirts to allow us access to certain areas, and it was very obvious if we went into a space we weren't authorised to be in - seemed to work, we never really bothered about it, security were never heavy handed, maybe just an Apple issue ? :o)
Yes, one down, many, many, many more to go ... another biggy ? Amazon, come over 'ere!
The entire retail sector has this type of shit ... do Wallmart cash register clerks get paid while they wait for their turn ? I know in France they don't, you only get paid when you are actually at the till and you are only called when required, e.g. queues build up.
I hate Apple as much as anyone else but, yeah, the retail sector needs fixing, has needed a patch since at least the 80's ...
Just in case you wondered how these businesses make $ billions.
If you do know actual examples of that, best to get in touch with the délégués du personnel or the inspection du travail instead of complaining on ElReg.
Because that is clearly and obviously illegal in France.
"Le code du travail le définit comme le temps pendant lequel le salarié est à la disposition de l’employeur et se conforme à ses directives sans pouvoir vaquer librement à des occupations personnelles."
If you do nothing but complain about vague hearsay, you're at best an enabler of the system you're pretending to dislike.
in France they don't, you only get paid when you are actually at the till and you are only called when required
If you've found a French supermarket where till staff are called when queues build up please tell us where!
"Could you open more tills, the queues are very long"
"It's lunchtime, the staff are on break. You should be having your lunch, not in here bothering our staff"
"But this is when I get a break, the only time I can go shopping"
"Well, that's not my problem".
Kieren's insert commentary of "..earning just above minimum wage..." seems to be way off. According to the CA Labor Commissioner's Office, minimum wage in CA is $13/hour. According to Glassdoor and Payscale, the range of a Genius is $14 - $32 with the average being $20.20.
Sure, the new people at the lower end of that scale ARE "just above", you can't really say that for the people that are 2.5x the minimum wage.
That seems like a weird thing to contract out for!
This isn't "contracting" in the sense you seem to be thinking of. Individuals brought in from staffing agencies are also known as "permatemps" and are shamelessly used to fill all sorts of bottom-rung positions due to costing less and being easier to dismiss. The better companies will use this as a trial period and hire the good ones, but plenty will simply keep them as permatemps and not bother actually hiring people for those positions.
So if I someone would come to you and said that an apparition of Virgin Mary spouting fire out of her ass was present in their toilet from 03:15 to 03:30 AM, and they had proof they were indeed at home, and home alone, would you automatically believe them?
Careful with that line of reasoning. Just because there is a sole source doesn't automatically make it immune to critique. What if they cited maximum instead of average rates, would you use the exact same reasoning as well?
The taxing agencies, federal and state, keep their collective eyes on the taxes imposed on each employee and the State of Taxifornia has a broooad [sic) definition of employee as opposed to independent contract. Show up twice at a time requested and soon the Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development, Cal-OSHA, and the rest of the alphabet want signed forms and the monies that is felt to be entitled in the job of protection.
What about non-"genius" workers, such as the people who explain the differences to a customer, process the sale, or coordinate the people providing support? I'm guessing they get paid less. And it's already been pointed out that the figures you cite aren't known to be correct.
Kieren's insert commentary of "..earning just above minimum wage..." seems to be way off.
Dunno where you learned maths, but last I looked 14 was just above 13 :)
The article does not mention anything about how many people at Apple get a minimum wage (although looking at their reputed manufacturing practices, it seems "the least possible" is quite normal for them - based on my extensive studies in the topic which involves reading the occasional Reg article...). It does imply that a certain group are on minimum wages (those named individuals).
The article is right to bring to mind what it must be like for those who are on the lower ends of the scales (who may have a 2nd job to get to, or kids to pick up, or just a home to go to) who have to wait sometimes as much as 45minutes just for a manager to check them.
Not surprised though - Apple clearly don't value their employees. Actively showing distrust in them, and going to court and lying about it - that's low.
Oh, and 2.5 x minimum wage is still pretty damned close to minimum when you look at what those at the top end of Apples pay scales will be getting. Or even those in the intermediate ranges.
The could appeal to Granny Smith, the grand old Pink Lady, when she makes a Cameo at the Macintosh Gala in Cortland. She will be joined by Jonathon, and sisters Paula and Ida Red, as they discuss advances in apple technology since the Rome Empire.
/coat: on. door: open. me: vamoose.
This was a ruling in the California state supreme court. While Apple could technically appeal to the US supreme court to hear the case, unless it involves federal law in some way, or a dispute between the states (and this does not appear to involve those), the US supreme court will almost certainly refuse to hear it.
The court system needs a review as well if companies feel it's safe to not comply with labour laws and have to sued into complying, but also that this went through multiple courts to get resolved. Clearly there were one or more appeals in this case.
I'm not a law expert, but a thought is to have a quota for companies - one appeal per year. Or perhaps if they lose one appeal, they have to wait a year to appeal anything again. This would stop appeals being routine and they would need to choose carefully what to appeal.
This would stop them from appealing every ruling that is not in their favor, which is what they routinely do now. Appeals consume court resources, and increase the legal costs to both parties. Appeals are to some extent insulting to the judiciary - it demonstrates contempt for a judges ruling. I'm surprised the judiciary put up with this the way they do.
Justice delayed is justice denied - so the appeals have an compounded impact on the out-of pocket party. And less appeals mean lower court workloads, which means cases will be heard faster.
The appeals system has a point. If a case doesn't proceed properly, the appeal can correct that. It covers everything from new evidence introduced to lawyer didn't do their job. If you limit appeals, it will hurt everybody. Sure, it would reduce the power of people who have a lot of money, but they'd just shift that money to doing other things in the legal process that make it similarly hard for their opponents to keep up. Meanwhile, if the company (assuming the company is in the wrong) wins the case and the same appeal limitations apply to the plaintiffs, they would similarly be restricted in fixing anything that was done improperly. It's an imperfect system; you're right there. When you have all the details for a better system, come back and we can discuss it. What you've suggested so far isn't good enough.
I believe in the US (certainly in the UK), if you behave like an idiot, the courts can declare you a vexatious litigant, at which point, any procedings you try to bring are subject to judicial scrutiny prior to being allowed to proceed. Having the concept of a vexatious defendant could be interesting. In the UK, we have something somewhat similar insofar as the concept of "leave to appeal denied", which means that you can still apply to appeal, but it attracts judicial scrutiny, and is largely reserved for when the offending party's arguments were insane.
If you look carefully at what is said by company spokespeople they will often stand outside the court and say they are "planning to appeal" the unfavourable judgement. I suspect a lot of these cases then never go any further after they consult lawyers. In the UK you can't appeal against a judgement just because you don't like it, you have to show that there was an error in law or some critical new evidence wasn't before the original court. As I'm not a lawyer I don't know how often that happens but suspect it is a small minority of cases. Even then the appeal court will often just push the case back to the same level court to re-hear the case with the new evidence or with the correct law.
"This would stop appeals being routine and they would need to choose carefully what to appeal."
Or the courts need to apply the rules more strictly on allowing appeals. It's common for the appellate to "discover" new information which they then use to appeal. The courts should be asking them why they didn't present that evidence in the first place. It's like some companies don't want to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" unless they lose and have to drip feed a bit more till there's enough to win.
Same here. When I started my current job nearly 8 years ago, we spent the first four months building the place before moving into a support role. Near to the end of these four months, I had a "catch-up" with the senior manager who hired me; most things were cool, but I pointed out to him that we routinely worked more than the 9-5 on our job spec, without any mechanism for claiming overtime. It was a couple of hours here, a couple there, but I calculated that we were averaging half an hour a day, five days a week, for those four months. His response was that we all do a bit of extra time here and there (he didn't), that it was essentially expected of us (but not in my contract), and that somehow it was for the greater good of the company, and hence us.
Well, much like these Apple employees, half an hour might not sound like much to some people, but when it's every day, five days a week, that comes to an extra day and a half a month, which to me at that time was about £500 extra a month, just as I became a parent for the first time. Later, the line manager we had wouldn't log any overtime that was less than an hour, but then that prick was also caught shaving hours off the overtime he did log, I was the one who proved it to HIS boss. Then tried to claim he was actually doing us a favour by moving the hours from other shifts, even though he never actually told us where those changes were, so we were probably working the "saved" hours anyway. I'm older and uglier now, and packing an MBA to boot. Anyone tries that crap with me now, they have exactly one chance to fix it before I shove my union card up their nose.
The mind boggles ...
Out of curiosity, Apple employees, why are you still working for a company that clearly doesn't trust you ... and doesn't care enough about you to ensure that the daily exit procedure is automatically included in the 8 hours they pay you for? Seriously. WHY? I'd have told them to fuck off the second time they attempted to hold me up (I'd allow it once. Anybody can make a mistake.) ... and I'd have called the cops for them holding me against my will if I wasn't allowed to leave. That's kidnapping, no matter how you try to gloss it over.
Yeah your right lol. They are really great at pushing things under the carpet.
What's interesting is if we hear media talk about Alibaba ceo Jack Ma it's generally highlights of his big achievements as an entrepreneur in a positive.
Very little do we hear of his 12 hour shift 6 days a week expectation of employees. All in spite of his western education.
You also hear little about a concept called stack ranking or the vitality curve.
If you're doing a minimum wage job, you almost certainly don't have a lot of choice about getting a new job.
So you can either quit and get no pay at all, or you put up with whatever crap your employer gives you. There's no other options.
"That's kidnapping, no matter how you try to gloss it over."
No, that's part of the employment contract which was almost certainly explained before the employees signed to say they understood. Sure, a good lawyer would probably rip it to shreds, but you can't afford any lawyer on $15/hr.
Have you ever worked a shit minimum wage job? You have zero power. The company can replace you with some spotty teenager any time they like, while your chances of getting a new job before the rent comes due are slim (and any job that will take you on short notice is going to be worse). The companies know this, and many will relentlessly exploite their workers as far as they can, then sack them and replace with the next bit of meat for the grinder.
Most jobs, let alone minimum paid ones, states "8 to 5" then obvs explain, you turn up 30 mins before the shift starts to get ready, and it takes 30 mins to clean/close up after, and that 1 hour every day, every shift, is unpaid.
Not seen a single one you *are* paid for those times, and seen a few that were inches away from docking you pay for toilet breaks.
"Most jobs, let alone minimum paid ones, states "8 to 5" then obvs explain, you turn up 30 mins before the shift starts to get ready, and it takes 30 mins to clean/close up after, and that 1 hour every day, every shift, is unpaid."
I have never, in my entire life, seen this. Employers rent (pay for) the use of employees from the time they punch the (perhaps figurative) clock, until the employee punches out. Before and after those times, the employer can fuck right the hell off. Thus the term "Sorry, I'm off the clock", followed immediately by turning around and walking away. It is against the law for the employer to require your services off the clock. As Apple has discovered, despite spending tons of money on land sharks trying to argue otherwise.
Surely, all they need is locker for each employee, where they can put their bag and personal possessions, then be "frisked" by security when they leave the shop floor to go back to the staff room? It won't take up much space and it saves so much time when leaving the store at the end of each shift.
A sensible idea. But not one Apple would have thought of using while it still had the whip hand over the staff.
This ruling may inspire Apple to go for some back room re-modelling of their stores. Or they might be hoping someone develops those body scanners from Total Recall.
Would make zero difference. For a search to be legal any such locker would have to be searched in the employees presence. Otherwise the opportunities for planting false evidence to get rid of awkward employees would be inevitably abused eventually.
The point of the previous poster as I understood it is that search is conducted between store and locker-room, and therefore locker-room is not a 'secure' area. Once a search is done on leaving the store to get to the locker room, it can be assumed (and probably even argued legally unless there is overwhelming evidence otherwise) that any kit in the employee's locker legitimately belongs to the employee.
"For a search to be legal any such locker would have to be searched in the employees presence. "
Nope. The locker is owned by Apple and is being provided as a convenience. I'm sure the employee manual has a clause stipulating that any lockers can be searched at any time with or without the consent of the employee. They may have a hard time arguing against false evidence, but it would be more likely that the stolen goods, if any, would be removed and the employee dismissed for cause. Not for theft, but for placing store goods in an unapproved location or wording much like that. A sacking for theft might have to be proved for Apple to avoid having to pay unemployment/severance. If it's a dismissal for violating company policy, that might count against the employee so no unemployment. This is why you never want a black mark in your employee record. The second strike could be curtains, no flowers if somebody doesn't like you. Like a case where the supervisor needs a job opening to get a mate onboard.
Lockers cost money. Not paying staff for the time taken to search them (and possibly the staff member doing the search) costs nothing. As even Apple probably won't try walking out of a store with a set of lockers and not paying, but will try not paying their own staff...
Why does it take 5 minutes, let alone 45? If it was 30 seconds then no-one would care, but they clearly have understaffed their security team if you have that sort of queue. Either stagger the finish times, employ more security staff or change the bag search to a random search. Or provide a locker system where they can securely store their personal effects outside the stock security. What kind of manager thinks this is a "normal"request of an employee.
Everyone finishes at the same time and there'll be 1-2 security guards stood at the end of a very long queue.
Everyone gets wanded or walked through an arch then bag searched.
Places like dixons/PCW repair warehouses etc do the same over here, but you're paid as you don't clock out until past that search point. I've even known it at places like clothes shops that suffered large "shrinkage". I know of a UK company who actually asked a large outlet to do this to their contractors.
This is what Apple meant by "for their benefit". They mean "well if we search you, we can't accuse you of theft".
Anyway, back to UK retail. I know of a large IT contractor who asked their clients to bag check the contractors staff.
Because each time they went to this chain to do a server upgrade or replacement, the staff of said store robbed their employers blind *EVERY* time a contractor of any sort walked in.
"Yeah, we had contractors again, that'll be where all those nice shirts went boss!"
The chain was asked by the IT firm to search the contractors on the way out and *NOT* tell staff below management level at the retail chain this was happening. I believe because it almost cost them the contract due to the theft accusations.
The duty manager was made to check engineers, the staff weren't told, all the stock still walked out the door anyway.
Surprisingly enough it wasn't the £250/day contractors stealing clothes and other random clart. It was the min wage employees of said chain. It almost cost a multi million pound contract. a 12 month job supporting 20-50 mobile engineers.
Anywho, random aside but I have seen this done for both staff targeting (dixons), and staff "protection" reasons (discount 'designer goods' chain). All paid for though.
I worked at a shitty PC builder (fuck you Evesham Micros!) and IIRC we weren't paid for the 30s it took to be searched on the way out.
Mind you, most of that thirty seconds was spent chatting to the guard, who would take one look in our bags and let us past, ignoring the bulging pockets of many of the staff.
I think management there thought that a 15% 'wastage' level was normal, for some reason. A box of MP3 players would be delivered, and be almost empty by the evening, despite no orders coming in...
It's a question I could ask of many senior executives and most politicians, when their behaviour is so reekingly bad. Do some people lack even the most basic sense of shame?
Several extremely well-paid senior managers, belonging to one of the wealthiest and cash-rich companies on the planet, not only decided that minimum-wage employees should not be paid for time spent obliging the company's security, but they they further and repeatedly attempted to deny them justice when this was exposed, making the most bizarre and even childish arguments in front of a court. Who thought this was decent behaviour in the first place? What kind of people persisted in trying to deny their employees a fair settlement?
Did nice Mr Tim Cook, squatting on millions, think this was a good use of Apple's lawyers?
I'd like to say such foul behaviour by a large, rich corporation surprises me ... we should all be utterly disgusted with this. If "beneath contempt" has any meaning in these Trumpian days, it applies to the executives who implemented and defended this disgusting policy.
A California judge did that to Starbucks over a dacade ago. And it was extremely funny.
They'd been stealing
sorry I mean taking for legitimate purposes a percentage of the money out their staff's tip jars and giving it to the managers as part of their pay. Not only did the judge say this wasn't legal, he made them go back through their records for the last decade and repay the money to all their ex staff.
A process which I wouldn't be surprised if it cost more than the money they were paying out.
Some years ago, I had cause to make regular visits (as a customer engineer) a US company's UK operation.
Security was tight and visitors were required to make a paper declaration of any electronic kit they carried and show the items to the security guard. This was then checked on departure. It was speedy and given the amount of loss they claim to have suffered seemed reasonable.
Some months later the system was halted. Enquiring why the answer was that it did not seem to stop the losses, they were still loosing a lot of expensive cell phone batteries a month. Investigation found that the returns and warranty staff were posting batteries, and other items, out to themselves and friends in the mail!!!
Then there is the old wheelbarrow theft folk lore ............
I expect that this ruling will be narrowly applied.
The unique circumstances were that employees were required to wear uniforms at work, and prohibited from wearing them away from work. Thus carrying bags to work was a normal part of the employment.
Few companies will have exactly the same rules. Those that do will change them minimally e.g. specify that employees may change out of their uniforms at home, but must cover them up when not working in the store. (Where do you keep the coat to cover up with? That's not their problem, but the situation is different. Now get back in line and wait to be searched.)
Back in the day I worked for Littlewoods, all shop staff used to work 8:45 to 5:45, so staff were in place before the shop opened and after they closed for tidy up and where felt necessary, bag searches.
Then some beancounter decided they could save 30 minutes per person per day in wages by making everyone's contacts 9:00 to 5:30.
So now there's no staff to tidy up at the end of the day, and all the staff piss off with the last customer, or you have to keep them back unpaid for bag searches, which caused a lot of friction with the union as you can imagine.
On a related note, it was fun once when police arrived to arrest a temp worker we had in one shop and the manager was begging with the police to let her stay for her whole shift because we'd paid her agency in advance for a full day...
If checking bags is such a priority, there should be somebody on hand to do it. It's not like they have no idea when shifts will end for the next week. Lockers are a great place for employees to store their phones too. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing staff talking on their phones, tapping away on social media (I'm pretty sure) and texting when on shift. These are likely the same people that think minimum wage is too low.
Why do companies behave like this? What is this gonna cost them, as a percentage of their yearly profit? It'll barely be more than a rounding error realistically. Yet, the goodwill they destroy by behaving like this is worth far more. Why not treat your employees well, and get them working loyally for you?