The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is ordering Apple to compensate workers for the time they spend on bag checks once their shift at work is complete. The move is a reversal of an earlier decision by the court that worked in favor of Apple. The chain of events began after the company lost a decision at the state level in California.
The new position regarding wage and hour law taken by the court is in line with an earlier ruling provided by the Supreme Court of California that says employees should receive compensation for time spent in the screening process at work. The original lawsuit, filed on behalf of Apple employees, alleges that workers regularly waited for an hour and a half each week for security personnel to check their bags.
Apple says the screening process is necessary at the end of each workday to protect both physical and intellectual property. Employees “clocked out” each day before beginning the wait for the security checks. The opinion of the court is that employees are due compensation for this time since the screenings are primarily for the benefit of Apple.
The California high court ruled that the time spent in screenings is compensable due to a provision set forth by the California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage guidelines that says employees are to receive payment for all time they spend under the control or direction of an employer. The court established that the control of employees exercised by Apple through the screenings was significant and enforceable through threats of discipline.
Employment law in California is specific in its assertion that all employees are to receive fair compensation for the work they perform. An employment law attorney may be able to help you if you feel you are not receiving proper compensation for the work you perform and the time you spend working.