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Unsealed Court Document Proves that Apple's CEO was Aware of Demeaning Employee Searches at Apple Stores


Information relating to complaints within a current lawsuit against Apple that began in 2013 were ordered by the court to be unsealed revealing that at least two Apple retail store workers complained directly to CEO Tim Cook about their policy of checking retail employees' bags saying that the security precaution was embarrassing and demeaning. More importantly, the unsealed document revealed that Cook forwarded the email to senior retail and human resources executives with the query, "Is this true?" The court filing didn't include what responses Cook received.


One worker, whose name was blacked out of the court filing, told Cook in a 2012 message that Apple managers "are required to treat 'valued' employees as criminals."


In the lawsuit, plaintiffs Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle alleged that "screenings" or bag searches, designed to discourage theft, were being conducted every time sales reps left the store, including for meal breaks. The lawsuit, filed in the US district court for the northern district of California, seeks class action status.


In respect to treating employees as criminals, a 2013 The Global Legal Post report noted that Apple's video security system in Paris was investigated over the period of 2013 and 2014. The investigations had already proven at that time that Apple's in-store cameras were positioned in employee "break areas" and were purposely pointed at employee computers. Both features are prohibited by law in France.


The current court hearing in the lawsuit against Apple is scheduled for 2 July.


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