A federal judge in California has approved Apple’s $30.5 million settlement in a nearly decade-old lawsuit claiming the company shortchanged 15,000 retail workers by not paying them for time spent in security checks after their shifts.
William Alsup, a US District Judge in San Francisco, approved the settlement in the 2013 class action. The California Supreme Court in 2020 used the case to rule that state law requires employees to be paid when they go through mandatory security screenings.
The plaintiffs in Apple’s case argued that retail workers often waited several minutes after clocking out, and sometimes longer, to have their bags checked before they could leave the stores where they worked.
Alsup had dismissed the case in 2015, saying the workers were not under the company’s control during security checks because they were not required to bring personal items to work that would have to be screened.
The state court in 2020 ruled against Apple, saying it was impractical to expect employees not to bring personal belongings to work. The federal court then revived the case, and Alsup last year said he planned to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs and order a trial on damages.
The $30 million settlement will be paid to a class of 14,683 Apple employees in California. It marks the largest settlement in a security search case in the state's history.