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Apple Required to Compensate Employees for Time Spent Off-the-Clock in Security Screenings

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Apple Required to Compensate Employees for Time Spent Off-the-Clock in Security Screenings

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday, September 2nd 2020 that Apple Inc needs to pay their employees for time spent going through mandatory security screenings at the end of each shift. This decision was long-awaited, with the original class action lawsuit filed against Apple in 2013.

The time employees spent waiting for a mandatory bag check could range from 5 to 45 minutes depending on the day.

Previously, employees were directed to clock out before submitting their personal belongings to security checks before leaving, with wait times for this process ranging anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes on an average day, and up to 45 minutes on a busy day. The time spent waiting for these mandatory checks to be conducted was not compensated, and quickly added up for employees.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that Apple is legally obligated to pay their employees for time spent awaiting security screenings.

This case was originally tossed out, but when appealed in higher court the original decision was reversed on a unanimous basis. This decision is not surprising; as a general rule of thumb, any action employees are required to do in the course of their work or in relation to their employment should be compensated by the employer.

This ruling means Apple will have to pay more than 12,000 retail employees in their California locations to make up for wages not paid during past security checks.

An evaluation of the lawsuit’s worth from 2015 indicated that Apple could have to pay as much as $60 million in back compensation to employees who were not compensated for time spent waiting for their bags to be checked, per company policy.

This lawsuit does not cast Apple in the best light, with critics openly shocked that one of the most successful companies in the world appeared to be penny-pinching in this way, especially when their annual profits make it clear that to pay employees for time spent in security screenings will in no way break the bank. Similarly, skeptics suggest that if Apple is concerned about the cost of paying their employees during these security checks, they could devote some time and energy to streamlining the current security check process, saving their employees time and the company money.

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