Apple Store SeoulSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Some Apple retail teams have their bags searched when they leave shifts.
  • A Californian court has ruled employees should be paid for the time it takes.
  • This goes all the way back to 2013.

Apple has been ordered to pay its retail team members overtime for the time spent having their bags checked at the end of their shifts.

Not all stores operate a bag checking policy, according to a former Apple Store team member we've spoken with. But those that do will now be forced to pay overtime after the California Supreme Court made its decision in a case that dates back to 2013, according to a Bloomberg Law report.

If an employee works in a store that checks bags they are required to hand them over to a manager while the search takes place. In busy stores with many people finishing work at the same time, that can be a lengthy process. Currently, employees are not paid for that time, but that's going to have to change, at least in California.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye explained notes that Apple employees are still working for the company even though their shift has come to an end. And in California, all hours worked must be paid for.

"The exit searches burden Apple's employees by preventing them from leaving the premises with their personal belongings until they undergo an exit search—a process that can take five to 20 minutes to complete—and by compelling them to take specific movements and actions during the search," the unanimous court said.

"Under the circumstances of this case and the realities of ordinary, 21st century life, we find far-fetched and untenable Apple's claim that its bag-search policy can be justified as providing a benefit to its employees," the court said.

With the case having started in 2013, Apple could now have quite the hefty bill to pay.