Apple receives approval for $30 million retail settlement

Last year, Apple agreed to pay California retail employees $30 million to settle a lawsuit over its bag check policy. This settlement has now been approved by a US District Court judge and will see the workers receive an average payout of $1,328 while the attorneys in the case will reap $10 million.

It’s been an incredibly long lawsuit, with employees first filing the class action lawsuit against Apple in 2013. According to employees, Apple forced retail workers to search before they left for the day, including including searches of their bags, purses, backpacks, briefcases and personal Apple devices.

Apple said the searches were necessary to make sure employees weren’t stealing products. Employees, however, said they often had to wait up to 45 minutes after their shift for this search to be completed, and they would not be paid for that time.

Notably, the lawsuit found that Tim Cook was largely unaware of the policy and when two employees complained directly to Cook about the issue, he forwarded the email to his human resources managers, asking “Is it true?”

A California judge dismissed the class action lawsuit in 2015, but that decision has been appealed. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals then asked the California Supreme Court to clarify the law. In February 2020, the California Supreme Court ruled that Apple must pay for its retail work for this period.

The $30 million settlement, which Apple agreed to in November, has now been approved by US District Court Judge William Alsup, as reported Bloomberg Law. The class in the lawsuit includes 12,000 current and former employees of Apple stores in California.

The Settlement is in all respects fair, reasonable, adequate and appropriate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class Members. In reaching this conclusion, the Court considered a number of factors, including: (1) the strength of the plaintiffs’ claims; (2) the risk, expense, complexity and likely duration of further litigation; (3) the amount offered in settlement; (4) the extent of the discovery made and the stage of the proceedings; (5) the experience and opinions of Class Counsel and Defense Counsel; and (6) the reaction of Settlement Class Members to the proposed Settlement.

The Court finds that the Settlement provides significant monetary recovery to all participating Settlement Class Members and concludes that such recovery is fair, reasonable and adequate when weighed against the risk of litigation related to damage.

You can read the judge’s full decision here.

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