Apple Store employees wrote to CEO Tim Cook to complain about security policies at retail locations.
The email came to light due to an ongoing lawsuit which was filed against the company in 2013. The email was unsealed during a case at a federal court in California, related to accusations that Apple Store employees were forced to wait on their own time while bosses checked their bags for stolen goods, writes David Goldman for CNN.
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Apple employees complain over bag checks
Employees claim not to have been paid for time spent waiting for the security checks to be carried out. The email was sent on April 2, 2012 by an unnamed employee who told Cook that the security policies are “both insulting and demeaning to Apple employees.”
Apple Store staff are given a card on which the serial numbers of their personal Apple devices are written. Managers request the devices and cards when staff leave the store, before checking their bags. The employee alleges that the checks are often carried out in the presence of “gawking customers.”
“These procedures imply that Apple doesn’t trust or respect their employees,” the person wrote. “Managers are required to treat ‘valued’ employees as criminals.” Upon receiving the email, Cook asked for clarification from the heads of retail and HR.
Another email from an Apple Store employee in Beijing also complained about the bag check policy. The message made Apple HR chief Denise Young Smith write to strategies head Carol Monkowski proposing that the company change its policy. It is unclear whether the policy has officially been changed, and an Apple spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the matter.
Separate class action lawsuit alleges labor law violations
The lawsuit was filed by two former Apple Store employees who claim that the time spent waiting for bag checks to be performed added up to $1,500 in unpaid wages per year.
Another class action lawsuit has been filed against the company by retail employees who claim that the company violated California labor law by denying them meal breaks and rest periods. Employees allege that they were made to work for over 5 hours without meals, and were not allowed to take breaks on shorter shifts.
Worryingly the lawsuit also alleges that the company discourages discussion of labor conditions among employees, enabling Apple to “invoke fear into the class members that if they so much as discuss the various labor policies, they run the risk of being fired, sued or disciplined.”