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Judge dismisses Apple Store employee 'bag check' lawsuits following Supreme Court ruling

Citing a recent Supreme Court ruling, a federal court judge last week dismissed a pair of proposed class action lawsuits leveled against Apple by its retail employees, who argued the company's anti-theft policies incurred lost wages.

Last Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsop dismissed with prejudice a suit alleging loss prevention practices applied at Apple Stores across the country deprived workers of "millions of dollars" in wages and overtime.

Judge Alsop's ruling hinges on a unanimous Supreme Court decision (PDF link) regarding a similar situation involving employee security checks and overtime pay.

In the case INTEGRITY STAFFING SOLUTIONS, INC. v. BUSK, the court found a temp agency not responsible for paying out Amazon warehouse workers subject to mandatory security screening, reports The New York Times. Plaintiffs argued that they should be paid for time spent taking out wallets and other items as part of Amazon's daily screening, but the decision, penned by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the process was not "integral and indispensable" to their jobs.

Applied to Apple's suits, Judge Alsop consolidated and dismissed two actions, noting case claims do not survive Busk. Individual claims by named plaintiffs Dean Pelle, Adam Kilker, and Brandon Fisher were specifically dismissed since a class was never certified.

An original complaint lodged in June of last year asserted Apple had deprived hourly retail workers of due pay by employing bag checks when they clocked out before lunch breaks and at the end of each shift. Plaintiffs offered the example of one worker who racked up approximately 50 minutes to 90 minutes of uncompensated overtime, which equated to about $1,400 over the course of one year.

Plaintiffs have until Jan. 6 to present a second consolidated complaint, with Judge Alsop requesting counsel append the document to highlight differences between the new pleadings and those recently dismissed.