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CAUTION: DON’T HAVE YOUR EMPLOYEES DO ANY COMPANY RELATED CHORES AFTER THEY CLOCK OUT

Apple could be held liable for $60 million in backpay for having employees be searched on their own time after they clock out.

Up to 12,000 Apple retail workers in California are seeking compensation in Frlekin v. Apple, Inc., a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks money for uncompensated time spent waiting for exit searches required by Apple’s ‘package and bag search policy’. The policy requires employees to clock out before undergoing mandatory searches to avoid theft. After clocking out, the searches then take five to forty-five additional minutes.

Initially the Frlekin federal trial court ruled in Apple’s favor, dismissing the case. However, the federal court of appeals reversed this decision and instructed the trial court to rule in the employees’ favor as Apple’s defense had no merit, handing the employees a huge win. For this, federal court of appeals relied on California state law and ruled that, because Apple employees are still under Apple’s control during the searches, the employees must be paid for their time. This could make Apple liable for up to $60,000,000 in back compensation.

But this ruling will likely have larger effects in California beyond exit searches. In the context of COVID-19, California has adopted Emergency Temporary Standards to tell employers how to deal with the pandemic. How employees are dealt with from a safety standpoint is central and could involve similar compensation issues.
More to come on that soon!

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This article is informational only and meant to provide guidance. It is not meant to be legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. For what to do in your specific situation, please consult with a qualified Construction Law attorney.

Testimonials

Mahyar was a big part in helping start our company and setting up our corporation. She also went to battle with a Billion dollar Corporation to keep our doors open when they tried everything to shut us down.

Danny Lamping

Classic Refrigeration Company

In 2008 -2009, our company was involved in a lawsuit with over 1 million dollars claimed against us. Mahyar Ghassemian handled our case expertly and conscientiously. She explained on a regular basis the progress of our case and how each of the actions of our opponent would ultimately affect our case. At no time did we feel alone or compromised as Mahyar boldly stayed her course which eventually provided us with the satisfactory outcome we had hoped to achieve. She will be our first call should the need arise in the future.

Kelly Owen

Clarion Construction, Inc.

Many years ago an insurance carrier hired Mahyar Ghassemian to defend my construction firm in civil litigation. Not only was Ms. Ghassemian very knowledgeable and competent regarding the legal proceedings, but she was also personally vested in our well-being; she cared what happened. She counseled us regarding the various options, listened to our input and proceeded accordingly. In multiple cases with Ms. Ghassemian, we have never experienced a negative outcome. Today my first call when a potential legal issue is on the horizon is to Ms. Ghassemian. She is both extremely effective and cost conscious.

Russell Patterson

The Patterson Company

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