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$30.5 Million Apple Settlement Approved

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A judge has finally approved Apple’s $30.5 million settlement in a 2013 class action alleging retail workers were shortchanged for time spent in security checks after their shifts.

San Francisco, CAAn Apple Inc. class action lawsuit filed almost a decade ago has finally been approved. Back in 2013, the technology giant’s retail workers claimed they were shortchanged for time spent in mandatory security checks after their shifts, which is a violation of the California labor law. The $30.5 million settlement includes compensation for 15,000 employees.

The plaintiffs in Apple's case argued that Apple required them to clock out before two daily required bag checks that resulted in about 90 minutes of unpaid work each week. After clocking out, the retail workers often had to wait several minutes to have their bags checked before they could leave the store. Law360 reported that the settlement is finally approved by U.S. District Judge William Alsup after questioning for eight months and eventually lowering the $10 million attorney fees the workers initially requested.

Leave the Bag Behind

The case was dismissed in 2015 by the same judge. He determined that the employees were not under the company's control during security checks because they were not required to bring personal items to work that would have to be screened, according to Reuters.

A federal appeals court asked the California Supreme Court to decide whether time spent in post-shift screenings was compensable under state law. In 2020 the state court ruled against Apple, because it was impractical to expect employees not to bring personal belongings to work. The federal court then revived the case and last year Judge Alsup last year said he would grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs and order a trial on damages.

Divvying Up $30.5 million

The employees said in March 2022 that the $10 million request was justified given the "outstanding" result the attorneys achieved. In July, Judge Alsup said a 30 percent benchmark for the attorney fees was more adequate than 33 percent. Under this final deal, employees’ attorneys will get about $9 million in fees and about $380,000 in litigation costs; $90,000 goes to settlement administrator costs; $2,000  to each of the four class representatives, and $2,000 to named plaintiff Amanda Frlekin.  As well, $460,000 is allocated to solve the PAGA claim.

The case is Frlekin et al v. Apple Inc in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:13-cv-03451.

This lawsuit is similar to those filed against Walmart Inc. and Inc. Last year, Amazon and a staffing agency agreed to settle one case for $8.7 million to 42,000 warehouse workers.


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