back to article Not a Genius move after all: Apple must cough up $$$ in back pay for store staff forced to wait for bag searches

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 …

  1. JohnFen


    It's great to see a company, particularly a large company, get slapped for this sort of behavior. It should happen more often.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Good

      A LOT more often.

      American labor laws are weak and badly enforced, but the courts have repeatedly ruled that employees on or in company property that are forced to stay past their exact quitting time must be paid.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Good

        I'd quite like to see what happens if someone refuses to wait and see if Apple are prepared to go with illegal imprisonment :-)

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Good

          I'd be more than happy to test the illegal imprisonment angle if I were working at an Apple store. I'd just pick a day when I had nothing particular to do after my shift and if there were a hold up, slide out with no bag check.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Good

      I've worked at secure facilities and government institutions, where the conditions weren't as draconian or were better organised than Apple.

      1. rmason

        Re: Good

        Presumably because you weren't min wage or close.

        That's sort of the issue here. They think they can treat low earners like scum.

      2. IceC0ld

        Re: Good

        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)

    3. Hans 1

      Re: Good

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        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.

        1. Hans 1

          Re: Good

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        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".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          Yeah, it's irritating when the plebs think they deserve a lunch break!

          Just to be clear, the problem there isn't the staff, it's management who don't schedule enough till staff during lunch. Blaming the monkey for the organ grinder's tune there.....

      3. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Good

        "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."

        If that really were the case, the employees would have barricaded the supermarket with tractors before you could say "gilets jaunes"

      4. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Good

        Which France is this? Clearly not the one to the south of England. If they tried that sort of sh*t there, the CEO would find the contents of his store bins deposited around his house, and the supermarkets themselves would be incinerated.

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    In a recent announcement

    Apple says it will not charge its Apple Store employees for the oxygen they consume in it's stores, but as part of Apple's Emission Reduction Mission, it will dock them on any carbon dioxide they exhale while in the stores.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: In a recent announcement

      It seems two people thusfar have had a successful humour bypass. So sad.

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: In a recent announcement

        Apple fambois? Sad indeed.

      2. Sam Crawley

        Re: In a recent announcement

        Could be the grammar police!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In a recent announcement

        Tim Cook reads the Register, who knew?!

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: In a recent announcement

          "Tim Cook reads the Register, who knew?!"

          Yes, he needs to know which El Reg articles contain the words "We asked Apple for comment" in order to make sure he ignores them.

  3. s2bu

    Minimum wage?

    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.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Minimum wage?

      Never trust any "wage average" reports.

      In America they are often wildly optimistic and also do not report who is employed through an agency, thus confusing the real wage of the employee.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Minimum wage?

        And be triply skeptical when "average" wages are cited rather than "median" wages.

        1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

          Re: Minimum wage?

          A mean without a standard deviation is meaningless.

          1. Wandering Reader

            Re: Minimum wage?

            Even that's not enough for salary distributions, which tend not to be normally distributed. Demand Skew and Kurtosis as well.

          2. Only me!

            Re: Minimum wage?

            I am all for a mean deviation rather that standard one........see icon

      2. s2bu

        Re: Minimum wage?

        Well sure, contractors usually make a higher base pay, but that is because they’re responsible for their own benefits, bookkeeping, etc.

        Anyways, I don’t believe any “Geniuses” are contractors. That seems like a weird thing to contract out for!

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: " I don’t believe any “Geniuses” are contractors."

          I may be channelling BBT's Sheldon, but I'm not sure any “Geniuses” are geniuses, either.

          1. Warm Braw Silver badge

            Re: " I don’t believe any “Geniuses” are contractors."

            They're not even engineers.

        2. Carpet Deal 'em

          Re: 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.

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: Minimum wage?

        The cited information sources are not perfect, but they are independent and as close to trustworthy as you're likely to find. If you want to debunk them, it's really on you to find something better.

        1. BinkyTheHorse

          Re: Minimum wage?

          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?

      4. Grinning Bandicoot

        RE: Employee count

        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.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Minimum wage?

      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.

      1. s2bu

        Re: Minimum wage?

        Surely since Kieran made the statement of fact, it should be up to him to prove it? You’re dismissing the data that says he’s wrong as potentially not correct while giving him a free pass. Seriously?

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Minimum wage?

      $14 is just above $13. It appears the claim that this affects people earning just above minimum wage is entirely correct.

    4. Kiwi
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Minimum wage?

      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.

  4. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    Apple? Cor!

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      I don't think they can apeel much higher....?

      I don't think they can apeel much higher....?

      1. MrDamage

        Re: I don't think they can apeel much higher....?

        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.

    2. Zarno Bronze badge

      Baltimore, who's your friend...

      (Sorry, word play is my core reason for being around some days...)

  5. elitejedimaster
    Big Brother

    Amazon just won a case not long ago at the United States Supreme Court over wages not paid to their employees while waiting to go through security procedures. It'll be interesting to see if Apple appeals cased upon that decision.

    1. JohnFen

      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.

  6. Richocet


    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.

    1. RuffianXion

      Re: Court

      So you're suggesting we treat the legal system like a sport, such as the NFL (or cricket if you are a right-pondian such as myself)? I can see that that would end up working tremendously well. /s

      1. Youngone

        Re: Court

        Good idea! Have a PHB from Apple face an over from Jofra Archer on a nice greentop.

        If he can protect his stumps Apple win. Apple don't get to employ Eoin Morgan.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Court

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Court

        And your suggestion is?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Court

          I do believe a lack of suggestion implies maintaining status quo until someone comes up with a better suggestion. Spotting flaws does not mean one knows a better solution. A knee-jerk, poorly thought-out, emotionally-driven reaction paves the path to catastrophe.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Court

            Ha !

            There’s an island where 17.4 million with a lack of suggestion may indicate your reasoning to be unsafe. However, I am with you on the catastrophe bit.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Court

      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.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Court

        "vexatious defendant" would deny them the right to a fair trial.

        If you knew that someone had been labled a vexation defendant and wasn't allowed to defend themselves in court, you could sue for any vaguely plausible-sounding reason, and they wouldn't be able to stop you.

        1. John G Imrie

          Re: Court

          That's not where he was going with this, a vexatious defendent would loose the automatic right of appeal, but could go before a judge to argue why they should be allowed to appeal

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Court

      But surely the lawyers could then manipulate the situation to create a case that will easily be appealed and then follow on with their 'real' case that will earn the big buck knowing there is no hope of appeal?

      It's not just big corporations that could game the system.

    5. Sam Crawley

      Re: Court

      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.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Court

      "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.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American tech companies like this are disgusting. Pay or no pay what low will they stoop too next?

    Wear a black sweater and blue jeans as CEO makes you look like you fit in on camera.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      I've had equally shitty bosses in the UK, although admittedly none of them ever tried to tell me that the bullshit was for my own benefit.

      1. Steevee

        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.

  8. jake Silver badge

    It took seven fucking years?

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It took seven fucking years?

      Surprised this hasn't been covered as much as other Apple issues like at Foxconn over the years. I hadn't heard of this until now.

      1. Erewhon

        Re: It took seven fucking years?

        "I hadn't heard of this"

        Where do you think billionaire cunts spend their money - PR for spin and damage control, advertising to sell their bullshit, lawyers to bend the truth in their favour, and lobbyists to change the laws entirely

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It took seven fucking years?

          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.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: It took seven fucking years?

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It took seven fucking years?

        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.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: It took seven fucking years?

          "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.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: It took seven fucking years?

        So what you are saying, phuzz, is that Apple's so-called "Geniuses" are so fucking useless that they can't find a job outside of Apple? Fair enough. I can live with your estimation of their general ability.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: It took seven fucking years?

      "doesn't care enough about you to ensure that the daily exit procedure is automatically included in the 8 hours they pay you for?"

      4 hours. If they break 20 hours per week they have to give certain benefits and after 32 or so, full time benefits.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Minimum wage in the US is apalling

    False unpaid detention sounds borderline criminal.

    I'm so glad I worked in a strong union-based workforce all my life.

  10. Timbo

    Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

    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.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

      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.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

      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.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

        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.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

        "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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

      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...

    4. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: Why not have a locker in the shop staff room?

      And apple would also "rent" the lockers to the staff as a benefit in kind!

  11. pintofbitter

    What a horrible f***ing company, i would sooner be homeless than work for that sort of sh** !

  12. Adam 1

    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.

    1. rmason

      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.

      What happened?

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sports Direct did the same thing as Apple, didn’t pay for the search time. It isn’t limited to tech retailers. Courts here gave them a kicking as well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not British or from the us but great to hear Apple are in the same league as Sports Direct that sells cheap fitness wear all whilst selling premium tech gear and a management that is idolised as heroic.

          That would be the Sports Direct founders ultimate wet dream come true.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        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...

      3. tim 13

        Years ago I worked in Dixons' software/music warehouse. They did an occasional search, but it took about 5 minutes to do all 20 or so people so it wasn't really an issue.

  13. Milton

    What do you see in the mirror?

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What do you see in the mirror?

      Downvoted for "these Trumpian days" - this has been going on for over 7 years. Quit using your political prejudices to score cheap points, it makes your valid argument look like a spoilt brat's whining.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do you see in the mirror?

        Trump has been in business with the same "art of the deal" policies for more than 7 years though (book published in 1987).

        And his first twitter account was May 2009.

        Even Sith lords aren't grown in 7 years....

  14. Instinct46

    Money Due

    I wonder if this covers people who previously worked for Apple. Can't imagine they'll have issues with claiming back the money.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Money Due

      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.

  15. Crisp

    American Employment

    But that's just slavery with extra steps!

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: American Employment

      It's not slavery as you can leave, prison employment on the other hand...

      1. MrDamage

        Re: American Employment

        The "pay them just enough so they can continue to exist, but not enough so they can take time off to look for a better job" tactics of american business is called "wage slavery".

  16. Barrie Shepherd

    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 ............

  17. schmeckles23

    It's about time someone tackled this sort of behavior! Remember, you are at work to be paid not wait around when you are finished.

    I've always hated the mentality of people taking work home... When I finished work that was me done and family time begins

  18. EveryTime

    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.)

  19. BGatez

    Nice to see Apple f***ed for a change.

  20. Gnoitall

    The court-mandated back pay will be a nice bump to the final paychecks of all of those soon-to-be-ex-employees who foolishly choose personal gain over loyalty to their Fruit-themed Overlords.

  21. Lazlo Woodbine

    Similar happened to me

    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...

  22. Sleep deprived


    1- Ridicule does not kill

    2- Apple did not become rich for nothing

    3- Geniuses should get an Android kit to speed up searches

    4- I'd be afraid to waste unpaid search time exiting an Apple store, so I'll skip

  23. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The case of the sudden ending of shifts

    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.

  24. John Robinson 2

    Quite right

    More good reasons why I never buy Apple.

  25. localzuk

    More billionaire bulls**t

    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?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021