A US Federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Apple filed by employees over the Cupertino’s bag search practices.
The decision was announced in a case where retail workers sued Apple to be compensated for the time taken by the company to search their bags outside of working hours to check they did not steal anything. The class action lawsuit represented some 12,400 employees at Apple’s 52 California Apple Stores.
The lawsuit claimed that while in a queue the policy should be based upon the Fair Labor Standards Act, and therefore employees are entitled to overtime.
According to Reuters , the Cupertino’s lawyers argued that a class action lawsuit was unreasonable because “not all store managers conducted bag searches, and any searches that did occur took a tiny amount of time which didn’t deserve compensation.”
U.S. District Judge William Alsop said in his ruling that plaintiffs could have effectively bypassed Apple’s searches by not bringing a bag to work, reported ZDNet .
“Rather than prohibiting employees from bringing bags and personal Apple devices into the store altogether,” Alsop said.
“Apple took a milder approach to theft prevention and offered its employees the option to bring bags and personal Apple devices into a store subject to the condition that such items must be searched when they leave the store.”
“Thus, our plaintiffs could all freely choose not to bring bags to work, thereby avoiding Apple’s restrictions during exit searches. That free choice is fatal to their claims,” he added.
Disappointed by the court’s decision, Lee Shalov, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said they are dissatisfied by the ruling and intend to explore all options, including a possible appeal, reported CNET .
Apple representatives are yet to comment on the court’s decision.