But the Ninth Circuit ruled that the facts in dispute were “irrelevant to whether time spent by class members waiting for and undergoing exit searches pursuant to the Policy is compensable as ‘hours worked’ under California law. ” The district court, therefore, erred in granting summary judgment to Apple, the Ninth Circuit judges wrote in their decision.
The workers said some days they ended up waiting for 45 minutes for a manager or security officer to be available to do the searches. “Apple’s exit searches are required as a practical matter … “Apple’s exit searches are required as a practical matter, occur at the workplace, involve a significant degree of control, are imposed primarily for Apple’s benefit, and are enforced through threat of discipline,” the state Supreme Court wrote in its decision.
California’s Supreme Court ruled in February that state law required Apple to pay employees for the time they spent waiting for a manager or security officer to search their bags — as is company policy to deter theft — after their shifts had ended but before they could leave the store.
However, US District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California granted Apple’s request for a summary judgment, since the company argued some of the workers who were part of the class action group didn’t bring bags or devices to work, “were never required to participate in checks,” and disputed that the policy had ever been enforced through disciplinary action.
The ongoing case started in 2015 when a group of Apple retail workers in California filed a class action suit arguing that under state law, they should be paid if they wait for bag searches, which the company requires but did not consider on-the-job time.