Apple has emerged victorious in a class action lawsuit brought against it by its retail workers over the company’s bag search practices.

First cited by Reuters, a court filing indicates that Apple doesn’t need to reimburse employees over the time taken to search their bags in order to minimize the likelihood that its products would walk out with them.

More than 12,000 current and former employees, who were hourly paid, non-exempt workers, had filed a lawsuit claiming the bag search practice was demeaning and treated them “as criminals.” Plaintiffs Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle claimed that Apple conducted these searches every time a sales representative left the store, even for a meal break. This is said to include those who have worked in one of Apple’s California retail stores since July 2009.

According to Reuters, Apple’s lawyers argued that a class action lawsuit was unreasonable because “not all store managers conducted bag searches, and any searches that did occur took a tiny amount of time which didn’t deserve compensation.”

Court filings state that Apple implemented its “Employee Package and Bag Searches” policy in response to concern over internal theft of its products. Today’s ruling offers a better glimpse of how the company enforces the policy. The court said that the while Apple does “restrain the employee’s action during the activity in question,” the activity is only conducted at managers’ discretion —  and employees can avoid the search by not bringing bags into the store.

This finding, and others determined by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, resulted in the win for Apple. No word yet on whether the plaintiffs will appeal the ruling.


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