Many retail stores require security bag checks of employees as they are leaving the store on break or ending their shift. But, stand and wait for the inspection for up to 10 minutes when you’re supposed to be getting a break or going home? Many employees find it unfair, but that’s exactly what two former Apple retail store employees are alleging. Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle are suing the technology titan, Apple Inc., for back pay. Both plaintiffs claim that they are owed monetary compensation for overtime and unpaid wages. While Frlekin feels that she was not paid approximately $1,500 in wages each year, over the course of her time with Apple, Pelle similarly calculates that he was shorted about $1,400. These sums were based on each employee’s hourly wage and the approximate total time that they spent waiting for security bag checks each week. If this is true, the Fair Labor Standards Act may have been violated by Apple Inc.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, nonexempt employees must be paid time and a half (one and a half times the hourly rate) when work exceeds 40 hours in a week. It also demands that all employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage. However, if found guilty, it is possible that Apple has also violated labor laws in the states where the plaintiffs were employed – New York, California, Georgia, and Florida. It is also possible that the lawsuit will be expanded to include numerous Apple retail workers in a class action suit.
Other retail businesses, such as Forever 21 and Polo Ralph Lauren, have already experienced similar lawsuits involving similar accusations by their employees. In the case of Polo Ralph Lauren lawsuit, it was reportedly settled in 2010 for $4 million. Whether the Frlekin and Pelle have a winning case, the message the two are sending is clear – your time is always worth something. If you can relate to this violation of labor laws and feel that you've experienced unfair compensation, contact a knowledgeable NY employment law attorney at Granovsky & Sundaresh PLLC.