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Apple California Lawsuit Dismissed

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San Francisco, CAA California labor lawsuit filed against Apple Inc., has been dismissed, with the judge ruling Apple did not violate employees’ rights to be paid for time spent during bag checks. The class-action California lawsuit was filed by employees at California Apple stores, who alleged they were owed pay for time spent in security checks.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit (Frlekin v. Apple, case number 3:13-cv-03451), alleged they should be paid for time spent waiting for mandatory bag checks, designed to prevent theft from Apple stores. But US District Judge William Alsup found that Apple only required employees who brought personal bags and devices to the store to undergo a check; employees could avoid the security screening by not bringing their own bags or personal devices.

“It is undisputed that some employees did not bring bags to work and thereby did not have to be searched when they left the store,” Judge Alsup wrote. Because employees had the freedom to avoid the bag searches, Judge Alsup found Apple did not owe them pay.

The class would have covered around 12,400 current and former employees who worked at 52 Apple stores in California.

Meanwhile, a 2015 report by Hiscox suggests California is among the states with the highest number of employee lawsuits. The 2015 Hiscox Guide to Employee Lawsuits (found online at hiscox.com), compiled with information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state counterparts, found that businesses in California were 40 percent more likely than the national average to face an employment lawsuit. The only states with a higher risk percentage were New Mexico, Washington, D.C., Nevada and Alabama.

Among lawsuits filed against employers are allegations of discrimination, failure to pay wages or overtime, and misclassification of employees either as independent contractors or as management to avoid paying minimum wage or overtime. One such lawsuit was filed against Uber, alleging drivers were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees, even though the company controls various aspects of the drivers’ work including the price of rides.

According to The Wall Street Journal (11/5/15), the Uber lawsuit, which has been classified as a class action, will begin on June 20, 2016, with five weeks set aside for the trial.

The outcome of the lawsuit will likely have implications for workers throughout the on-demand industry, some of whom claim they are employees and should be given labor protection including minimum wage and overtime.

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