Apple’s `Demoralizing’ Worker Searches Spur a Trial for More Pay

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Apple Inc. store workers in California won a fight to join together in their bid for more money, claiming they should be paid for time spent in “demoralizing” security searches when they leave work each day.

The ruling that more than 12,000 workers from over 50 stores can sue as a class may put the world’s most valuable technology company on trial over its treatment of a staff known for almost cult-like loyalty.

A San Francisco federal judge on Thursday ruled that the issue for a jury to decide is whether the workers must be compensated for time spent having their bags searched for stolen merchandise when they left work.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that Amazon.com Inc. workers don’t have a federal right to be paid for time spent in post-shift security searches. The Apple workers are pursuing their case under California law.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook personally fielded at least one Apple Store employee complaint about “demoralizing” security searches.

Rachel Wolf, an Apple spokeswoman, declined to comment on the ruling.

The case is Frlekin v. Apple Inc., 13-cv-03451, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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