A full-time non-exempt Apple Store Specialist who worked at both Spokane and San Francisco stores over a two year period has filed a Class Action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of himself and all non-exempt employees who are employed by Apple as non-exempt Specialists, Lead Specialists and Expert Specialists and non-exempt Managers, Senior Managers, Developmental Managers and Business Managers. Specialists and Managers are collectively referred to as Hourly Employees. The nuts and bolts of the complaint revolve around the fact that employees that are paid hourly wages should be compensated for the time lost waiting in lines for mandatory Apple security checks every day. Considering this is a requirement by Apple, employees should be compensated. Apple was sued in a similar case in July by two former Apple Store employees from New York and Los Angeles. Our report covers the full basic complaint filed with the court in San Francisco.
Class, Collective and Representative Action Complaint
For the purposes of this matter, Class Members include, but are not limited to, Taylor Kalin and all non-exempt employees who were employed by Apple as non-exempt Specialists, Lead Specialists and Expert Specialists ("Specialists") and non-exempt Managers, Senior Managers, Developmental Managers and Business Managers. Specialists and Managers are collectively referred to as Hourly Employees.
A Specialist's duties include customer support relating to retail sales of Apple products and accessories. Specialists are also required to have knowledge of and be able to perform light diagnostic checks on Apple hardware and software. A Manager's duties include overseeing the Specialists and tending to customer- related needs. Specialists and Managers are non-exempt hourly employees who are entitled to overtime compensation.
Plaintiff was employed by Defendant as a full-time non-exempt Specialist at stores in Spokane and San Francisco from approximately September 2010 to November 2012.
Hourly Employees are required to clock in when they arrive at work, clock out when they go on a meal break, clock in when they return from a meal break and clock out when they leave for the day. The time-keeping system and the procedures for using it are the same at each Apple retail store. In this regard, Apple uses time tracking software developed by Kronos, Inc. The software requires Hourly Employees to enter a username and password to clock in and clock out each day.
Kalin typically was required to arrive 15 minutes or more before his shift was scheduled to begin because there was typically a line of employees waiting to clock in on time and he never knew how long the line would be. On Launch days, it would take up to 30 minutes or more to clock in because of the lines. Similarly, when Hourly Employees returned from their meal periods, they were required to wait in line to clock in.
Apple did not compensate Kalin or the other Hourly Employees for the time they were required to spend waiting in line to clock in.
Kalin and other Hourly Employees were required to use company devices at work. Kalin and other Hourly Employees were required by Apple to check the devices out at the beginning of their shift and check the devices back in at beginning of the meal period if they left the premises and at the end of the shift, after the employees had clocked out. Because many Hourly Employees were required to do this, the check-in time could take anywhere from five to 45 minutes or more.
After they had clocked out at the end of their shifts or at the beginning of the meal breaks, after they checked in the devices, Kalin and other Hourly Employees were required to undergo personal package and bag searches before they were permitted to leave the store.
Apple has adopted a uniform nationwide policy that provides "all employees, including managers and Market Support employees, are subject to personal package and bag searches." See Apple Employee Conduct Manual. If an Hourly Employee refuses to submit to this security screening or deviates from the corporate policy in any way, it "could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination." See Apple Employee Policies. Hourly Employees were and are required to wait in line and be searched for potential or possible store items or merchandise taken without permission and/or other contraband. Thus, at the discretion and control of the Defendant and solely for its benefit, Plaintiff and other Hourly Employees were and are required to wait in line for security checks for at least 10-15 minutes each day before leaving for their meal breaks and at the end of their shift after they had already clocked out. This daily 10-15 minute uncompensated waiting time during security checks was done in order to undergo searches for possible contraband and/or pilferage of inventory. Because such screening is designed to prevent and deter employee theft, a concern that stems from the nature of the employee's work (specifically, their access to high value electronics and merchandise), the security checks and consequential wait time are necessary to the employee's primary work and done solely for Apple's benefit.
A large number of Specialists and Managers leave for lunch at the same time and/or end their shifts at the same time. This creates lengthy lines and backups for managers, members of the security team and others authorized to conduct security screenings who are often times engaged in other job related duties. As a result, Hourly Employees are forced to wait in these lines and undergo lengthy off-the- clock security screenings before they are allowed to leave the premises. This work, done primarily for the employer's benefit, is time which Hourly Employees should be, but are not compensated for; both straight hours and overtime hours worked in excess of 40 in a week or, in California, in excess of eight in a day.
Apple's corporate employee conduct policy mandates and requires that Specialists find a Manager or member of the security team (where applicable) to search [their] bags and packages before [they] left the store." See Apple Employee Conduct Manual. Additionally, the policy forbids Specialists and Managers from leaving the store "prior to having [their] personal package or bag searched by a member of management or the security team (where applicable)." Id.
These policies are uniform throughout every Apple retail store and "apply to all employees of Apple Inc. and participating subsidiaries in the United States." See Apple Employee Policies. Thus, these uncompensated wait times and security screenings unlawfully deprive Hourly Employees in Apple's retail stores throughout the country of the proper compensation due them.
Waiting in lines to clock in, waiting in lines to check equipment in, and waiting in line and undergoing security checks were significant, integral, indispensable, not de minimis tasks or requests and were done solely for Apple's benefit to allow Apple to track its employees' hours and to prevent employee pilferage.
Apple did not compensate Kalin or the Hourly Employees for this time. Defendant knowingly and intentionally, as a matter of uniform policy and practice, failed to furnish Plaintiff and members of the Wage Statement Class with accurate and complete wage statements regarding their regular rates of pay, rates of overtime pay, total gross wages earned, and total net wages earned in violation of Labor Code Section 226.
Defendant's failure to furnish Plaintiff and members of the Wage Statement Class with complete and accurate itemized wage statements resulted in actual injury because such failures led to, among other things, the non-payment of all their regular and overtime wages and deprived them of the information necessary to identify the discrepancies in Defendant's reported data.
List of Claims
First Claim for Relief: Failure To Pay Wages (On Behalf of Plaintiff and the California Unpaid Wages Class)
Second Claim for Relief: FLSA Violations (On Behalf of Plaintiff and the FLSA Class)
Third Claim for Relief: Waiting Time Penalties (On Behalf of Plaintiff and the Waiting Time Penalty Class)
Fourth Claim for Relief: Wage Statement Violations (On Behalf of Plaintiff and the Wage Statement Class)
Fifth Claim for Relief: Unfair Competition (On Behalf of Plaintiff and All Classes)
In the action's prayer, no specific dollar amount was presented
The class action presented in today's report was filed in the California Northern District Court, San Francisco Office. The Presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley.
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