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Apple receives approval for $30 million retail settlement


Last year, Apple agreed to pay retail workers in California $30 million to settle a lawsuit over its bag check policy. That settlement has now been approved by a US District Court judge and will see workers receive an average payment of $1,328 while the lawyers in the case will rake in $10 million.

This has been an incredibly long-running lawsuit, with employees first filing the class action suit against Apple in 2013. According to the employees, Apple forced retail employees to search before leaving for the day, including searches of their bags, purses, backpacks, brief cases, and personal Apple devices.

Apple claimed that the searches were necessary to make sure employees were not stealing products. Employees, however, said that they would often have to wait around for as long as 45 minutes after their shift for this search to be completed, and they would not be paid for that time.

Notably, the lawsuit revealed that Tim Cook was largely unaware of the policy and when two employees complained directly to Cook about the issue, he forwarded the email to his HR executives, asking “Is this true?”

A California judge dismissed the class-action suit in 2015, but that decision was appealed. The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then asked the California Supreme Court to clarify the law. In February of 2020, the California Supreme Court ruled that Apple must pay its retail works for this time.

The $30 million settlement, which Apple agreed to back in November, has now been approved by US District Court Judge William Alsup, as reported by Bloomberg Law. The class in the lawsuit includes 12,000 current and former Apple store employees in California.

The Settlement is in all respects fair, reasonable, adequate, and proper, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class Members. In reaching this conclusion, the Court considered a number of factors, including: (1) the strength of Plaintiffs’ claims; (2) the risk, expense, complexity, and likely duration of further litigation; (3) the amount offered in settlement; (4) the extent of discovery completed and the stage of the proceedings; (5) the experience and views of Class Counsel and Defense Counsel; and (6) the reaction of the Settlement Class Members to the proposed Settlement.

The Court finds that the Settlement offers significant monetary recovery to all Participating Settlement Class Members, and finds that such recovery is fair, reasonable, and adequate when balanced against the risk of further litigation related to damages issues.

You can read the full ruling from the judge here.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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