McLaughlin & Stern Successfully Defeats Motion for Summary Judgment Over Bag and Security Checks at Apple Retail Stores

On May 30, 2014, Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California issued an opinion denying a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc. ("Apple") in connection with a nationwide class action brought on behalf of retail store employees who are subject to uncompensated bag and technology checks.  The action — Frlekin et al. v. Apple Inc., 13-cv-3451(N.D.Cal.) — alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the state labor laws of California, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio, and seeks to recover overtime wages and unpaid compensation for time spent by non-exempt Apple employees waiting for and undergoing the security checks.  Apple denies the allegations and claims asserted in the action.  The decision is reported at 2014 WL 2451598 (N.D.Cal., May 30, 2014).

In denying summary judgment, the Court rejected Apple’s assertion that it is an employee’s "choice" to bring bags and Apple technology to work, and the security checks are, therefore, a "voluntary" activity that need not be compensated.  The Court observed in this regard that "Apple employees may need to bring a bag to work for reasons they cannot control, such as the need for medication, feminine hygiene products, or disability accommodations."  The Court also observed that "[t]he summary judgment record is at best ambiguous about whether the security screenings were mandatory for at least some locations and circumstances."

McLaughlin & Stern, LLP handles a broad range of individual and class actions on behalf of employees who have not been properly compensated by their employers.  If you are a current or former Apple retail store employee and would like to know more about the action and how it relates to your experience at Apple, please contact Plaintiffs' counsel at your convenience:

Brett R. Gallaway, Esq. ()
Wade C. Wilkinson, Esq. ()
Telephone: 212-448-1100

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