Apple retail workers were given the go-ahead in federal court in California Thursday to pursue a class action lawsuit against Apple, breathing new life into a lawsuit filed in 2013.
The ruling, from U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, concerns a lawsuit that alleges Apple should compensate store workers for the time taken to search their bags to make sure they did not steal any merchandise.
The plaintiffs, Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle, are seeking $5 million in lost overtime wages for the class members, which include more than 12,000 current and former Apple employees. They allege that workers were subject to twice daily checks of their personal bags by their supervisors, which not only took up a lot of time since employees often had to wait in line, but were also demeaning, since they were often performed in front of customers.
One employee, who wrote an email to CEO Tim Cook with the subject line “Fearless Feedback from Apple Retail Specialist,” wrote that managers “are required to treat ‘valued’ employees as criminals.”
Apple argued that the case was not eligible for a class action lawsuit, since not all store managers conducted the searches.
The case was previously dismissed by the same judge in 2014. That ruling followed a Supreme Court decision on a similar case. The Supreme Court had ruled against Amazon employees who sued the company’s temp agency for overtime wages earned while waiting in line for security checks.
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