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Former employees say Apple bag checks caused lost wages

Has your employer failed to pay you for all of the time you work? Are there policies at your workplace that keep you from receiving overtime pay and regular wages that are due to you? For two former Apple retail employees, the answer to both of those questions is yes.

Two plaintiffs, one of whom worked at an Apple store in New York, are suing the wealthiest technology company in the land over wages allegedly lost because of required bag checks for employees. The checks are meant to prevent employee theft, but the plaintiffs claim the searches cut into personal, non-work time, such as lunch breaks and just being off the clock.

In many Apple stores, retail employees have to go through two bag or package searches per work day. The former employees in this case say they waited in line each day, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes, while off the clock.

The class action lawsuit claims this waiting led to unpaid wages that come to about $1,500 for each plaintiff. The lawsuit goes on to state that Apple's policies have resulted in hourly employees companywide losing wages and overtime pay totaling millions of dollars.

In particular, Apple is accused of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as labor laws in California and New York.

Because of its class action status, the lawsuit has the potential to result in compensation for Apple retail employees throughout the business.

While this wage dispute involves one of the largest and most powerful companies in the U.S. and beyond, smaller companies have also been known to violate wage and hour laws. If New Yorkers believe their employer, no matter how large or small, has failed to pay due compensation for work done, then there may be legal avenues for achieving justice.

Source: CNET, "Apple slapped with lawsuit over mandatory employee bag checks," Dara Kerr, July 29, 2013

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