In late July, Macworld Australia reported that two ex-employees of Apple’s retail stores in the US had launched a class action, claiming hours of unpaid overtime due to mandatory bag searches carried out after their shifts had ended.
Amanda Friekin from Los Angeles, California, and Dean Pelle, a New York resident, have since been joined in their suit by seven other people. Court filings name the additional plaintiffs as Debra J Speicher, Aaron Gregoroff, Melody Idakaar, Brandon Fisher, Adam L Kilker, Seth E Dowling and one other, although it has not been revealed at which stores they worked or when.
Meanwhile, lawyers for the Cupertino company have filed their first routine response. Apple is using the law firm Littler Mendelson for the case, the lawyers of which answered the original complaint on 16 August. The response addresses each paragraph of the complaint, with Apple’s lawyers acknowledging such basic facts as the number of Apple employees and retail stores, while firmly negating just about everything else – with a general “Apple denies each and every allegation”.
Apple strongly refuted claims that it “has engaged and continues to engage in illegal and improper wage practices that have deprived Apple Hourly Employees throughout the United States of millions of dollars in wages and overtime compensation”.
The lawyers added that only some staff were selected for the bag searches, there weren’t lines of people waiting in queues to have their security check before they could go to lunch and that they believed all bag security checks carried out by the company were completely within the guidelines of industry practice.
Then there is the issue of statute of limitations, with some of the claims stretching back further than the three or four years that are the general rule of thumb in California or the six years in New York.
For full details of Apple’s response to the lawsuit, you can download the PDF here.
by Macworld Australia staff