Apple will have to deal with a class action lawsuit brought by Apple retail employees in California that alleges mandatory bag checks at the end of their shift caused them to remain at work for 10 to 15 unpaid minutes.
Reuters reports the employees say the bag searches were done off the clock. The group is seeking damages for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and other compensations.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco on Thursday certified the case, originally filed in 2013 by Apple store employees Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle, as a class action suit. The suit alleges Apple should compensate thousands of Apple Retail store employees for the time it takes to search their bags for stolen merchandise.
Court filings in the case, which were made public earlier in June, show at least two Apple Retail employees complained about the policy directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Class action lawsuits allows multiple plaintiffs to sue as a group, usually giving them more leverage to negotiate settlements. The class members in the suit include more than 12,000 current and former employees.
Apple had argued in court filings that the case was not suitable for class action status, due to the fact that not all Apple store managers conducted bag searches, and any searches that did occur took a tiny amount of time.
An Apple representative refused to comment on today’s ruling when contacted by Reuters.