According to court documents, Miranda and other employees alleged they were forced to submit to bag checks anytime they left a Coach store, which cut into their unpaid meal and break time and kept them onsite after their shifts were over. Although initially the overtime complaint was dismissed, the plaintiffs amended it and the court allowed the lawsuit to move forward.
“Plaintiffs and all ‘Sales Associates’ were required to, first, clock out for the meal period, rest breaks and at the end of a shift, then locate a manager, request the manager conduct a ‘bag check,’ undergo the ‘bag check,’ and then be escorted out of the store by the manager,” the complaint alleged. All told, employees argued they could spend up to 30 minutes off the clock waiting for a bag check.
For employees who worked full-time, this extra time would have counted as overtime pay, not regular pay.
Coach had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that time spent waiting for bag checks was minimal, but a judge found that up to 30 minutes a day was “clearly significant.”
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Coach is not the first company to face lawsuits linked to bag and security checks. Apple also faced such a lawsuit, which was dismissed in 2015, with the judge finding the plaintiffs could choose not to bring bags to work, which would help them avoid a bag search. That lawsuit, however, alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Coach lawsuit alleged violations of California wage and hour laws.
The lawsuit is Miranda, et al. v. Coach, Inc., et al. Case number 14-cv-02031.