In the recent case of Frlekin v. Apple, Apple employees brought a putative wage-and-hour class action against Apple Inc., their employer, and sought compensation under California law for time spent waiting for and undergoing exit searches pursuant to Apple’s employee package and bag search policy.

Time Spent Waiting

Apple’s “Employee Package and Bag Searches” policy required that its retail store employees undergo exit searches of their bags and personal Apple technology devices before leaving the store, and depending on the availability of a manager or security personnel to conduct the search, the wait time, the employees alleged, was anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. The issue? The employees were not paid for their time spent waiting to perform an employer-controlled activity.

Under California labor law, an employee who is subject to the control of an employer does not have to be working during that time to be compensated under the wage order requiring employers to pay their employees a minimum wage for all “hours worked.” If you believe your employer has not paid you properly for the hours you have spent working, you may be able to file a legal claim against your employer for a minimum wage violation.

The California Supreme Court observed that, under California law, “hours worked” includes both (1) time when an employee is subject to the employer’s control and (2) time when an employee is “suffered or permitted to work.” Furthermore, the Court observed that an employee who is subject to the control of an employer (such as when an employee is waiting in line to enter or exit the workplace) does not have to be working during that time to be owed compensation.

Minimum Wage Violations in Los Angeles

It is illegal for California employers to pay employees less than the minimum wage. This includes all types of employees, from retail clerks and restaurant servers to farm-workers. If your Los Angeles employer is violating minimum wage laws, you have the legal right to recover the money owed by filing a wage and hour lawsuit. Our experienced employment lawyers can go over the process with you.  If the violation affects numerous employees, and it often does, a wage and hour class action lawsuit may be appropriate.

As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in California is:

$12.00 for employers with 25 or fewer employees, or

$13.00 for employers with 26 or more employees.

However, it is important to note that many cities and counties in California have a higher minimum wage. For example, as of July 2019, in the City of Los Angeles has a minimum wage is $14.25 per hour or $13.25 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.

If your employer is not paying you the required minimum wage, you have a right to financial compensation. Contact the employment attorneys at the Law Offices of Eric a. Boyajian to discuss your potential case today.