Apple agrees to cough up $30 million to settle worker dispute

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Say goodbye to the Uptown Apple Store in Minneapolis.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2013.
Photo: Apple

Apple will pay out $30 million to settle an employee dispute after it forced workers to stay behind to have their bags after their shifts had ended. It finally marks an end to the lawsuit that was first filed eight years ago.

The lawsuit was dismissed by one California judge back in 2015. But after the decision was appealed, the California Supreme Court in February 2020 ruled that Apple must pay compensation to those affected.

Apple’s bag check policy starts worker dispute

In their original lawsuit, workers claimed that they sometimes had to wait around for as long as 45 minutes after their shifts had ended so that they could have their belongings — including bags, purses, and personal devices — searched.

The employees were not paid for this time, and it is claimed that the checks often took place in front of surprised customers. The workers said they felt like they were being treated like “animals” and thieves.

Apple claimed at the time that the process was necessary to ensure that retail workers were not stealing products. However, the lawsuit, which was filed by 12,000 staff, noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook knew nothing about the policy.

When two employees sent an email to Cook to complain about the bag checks, he forwarded the message to HR executives and asked, “Is this true?”

Apple agrees to pay $30 million

After the lawsuits dismissal was appealed in 2015, the California Supreme Court last year ruled that Apple must pay its retail workers for the time they lost having to stay behind. Apple has now agreed to a $29.9 million settlement.

The payout is yet to be approved by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, Bloomberg reports. But it looks like this particular case is finally near its end.