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Judge throws out Apple class action lawsuit over bag checks

Anxious to avoid crowds and the always frustrating search for a suitable parking spot, many people have made the decision to avoid local malls and do the majority of their shopping online.

While this trend has emerged as a very real threat to the continued existence of traditional big box stores and smaller retail shops, there are some brick and mortar retailers that appear immune owing to the quality of their products and, of course, customer service.

One of these brick and mortar retailers that appears to be in no danger of shuttering any of its outfits anytime soon is the Apple Store. Indeed, people flock to these establishments in droves, seeking to purchase highly popular tech gadgets, or get help fixing their devices from highly knowledgeable staff.

Interestingly enough, the Apple Store was recently hit with a major business-related lawsuit that originated not from a competitor, but rather from among the ranks of its own employees.

The litigation in question was actually a class action lawsuit filed two years ago in the Federal District Court in San Francisco on behalf of over 12,000 former and current employees at 52 Apple Stores located throughout California.

It alleged that the store policy of conducting mandatory bag searches every time employees left the store, even for meal breaks, was both demeaning and time-consuming. Indeed, it alleged that having to wait roughly five to ten minutes for the bag searches equated to roughly $1,500 in lost wages per year.     

In recent developments, the presiding federal judge dismissed the federal class action last week, holding that the Apple's approach to theft prevention was altogether mild and reasonable given that it could have just issued a universal ban on employees bringing in bags.

In addition, the judge noted that those employees who did not want to be inconvenienced by a bag search could simply opt not to bring one to work and that no employee filed papers with the court indicating that they had some sort of special reason for carrying a bag.

It remains unclear as to whether the plaintiffs will appeal this decision.

Cases like these perhaps serve to underscore how businesses of any size must always remain vigilant from a legal perspective, perhaps consulting regularly with a skilled legal professional in order to identify any potential exposures and ensure compliance. 

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