Last year, the California Supreme Court ruled that Apple violated the law by not paying employees while they waited for mandatory bag and iPhone searches. Now Apple has offered to pay $ 30 million to settle the lawsuit, and employee lawyers have urged them to accept it, Apple Insider reported. “This significant settlement without return has been reached after nearly eight years of difficult litigation,” prosecutor’s lawyer Lee Shalov wrote in a proposed settlement he saw Courthouse News.
Employees launched the suit back in 2013, saying they were not paid while searching for stolen goods or trade secrets. The workers felt they were still under Apple’s “control” during that five to 20-minute process and should therefore be compensated. Apple, for its part, has argued that employees may choose not to bring their bags or iPhones, thus avoiding searches at all.
Apple won an earlier battle in the district court, but the case went to the Supreme Court of California on appeal. There, judges ruled that Apple workers “were apparently under Apple’s control while waiting and during a search of the exit.” The court rejected Apple’s argument that carrying a bag to work was a convenience for employees, especially that Apple believes that employees do not necessarily have to carry their iPhones to work.
“His characterization of the iPhone as unnecessary for his own employees is in direct contrast to his description of the iPhone as an‘ integrated and integral ’part of everyone else’s life,” the judges wrote. In that statement, the court cites Tim Cook’s 2017 interview in which he stated that the iPhone is “so integrated and an integral part of our lives that you wouldn’t think about leaving home without it”.
The settlement is still subject to plaintiff approval. Nearly 12,000 current and former Apple Store employees in California involved in the lawsuit will receive a maximum payout of about $ 1,200.
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