Two former Apple employees filed a class-action suit claiming the company owed them wages for minutes they had spent in lines facing security checks each week during unpaid break time. The workers said that they were required to submit their personal bags and packages for inspection before they left the store at the end of their shifts and before their breaks. An attorney representing one of the workers claimed that the security checks took 50 minutes a week and the worker lost an estimated $1500 in wages.
One of Amazon's contractors faced a similar suit in 2010, when several low-wage warehouse workers claimed they had to wait in line for at least 25 minutes every day while security checked them for stolen goods. These cases indicate the disparity in compensation between the highly paid executives and the low wage store and factory workers.
Although the searches are done to deter the theft of expensive electronics and other items, wage and hour law is in place to protect employees from uncompensated hours, denial of overtime and insufficient break time. For example, the other plaintiff named in the suit against Apple claims she lost $1400 in unpaid hours.
An employment law attorney may be able to assist workers who believe they are being denied wages to which they are entitled. A legal professional may be able to research the case to see if an employer has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act or any other law that protects workers. If so, the attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement with the employer.
Source: Huffington Post, "Apple Store Workers Sue Over Lost Wages For Having To Wait In Line", Dino Grandoni, July 30, 2013