Judge approves $30.5M Apple settlement over retail employee bag checks

The settlement stems from a lawsuit first filed in 2013

A federal judge has given final approval to a legal settlement requiring Apple to pay a total of approximately $30.5 million to a group of 14,683 current and former retail workers in California. 

"The Court finds that the Settlement offers significant monetary recovery to all Participating Settlement Class Members, and finds that such recovery is fair, reasonable, and adequate when balanced against the risk of further litigation related to damages issues," wrote Judge William Alsup of the US Court for the Northern District of California in his Saturday ruling.

Representatives for Apple and the workers did not immediately return requests by FOX Business for comment. The news was first reported by Bloomberg Law. 

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The settlement, which Apple agreed to in November, followed a lawsuit first filed in 2013 related to the tech giant's employee bag check policy.

At the time, workers said they were not being paid for time spent while waiting and undergoing the company's exit searches at the end of their shift. They argued the time qualified as compensable hours worked under California law. Court documents previously noted Apple's search process could take as long as 45 minutes and failure to comply could result in termination.

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In 2015, Alsup dismissed the case, saying the workers were not under the company's control during security checks because they were not required to bring personal items to work that would have to be screened.

However, the ruling was later appealed to the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who asked the California Supreme Court to interpret state law. Following the high court's decision, Apple was ordered to pay employees for the time spent during the searches. 

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Apple, which has since ceased its bag search policy, isn't the only one to face litigation. 

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Last year, Amazon agreed to pay $8.7 million to 42,000 warehouse employees over its bag search policies. 

Reuters contributed to this report.