Michael S. Kun and Michael D. Thompson, Members of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm’s Los Angeles and Newark offices respectively, were featured in Corporate Counsel, in “Judge: Bag Check Not Part of Workday Because Workers Could Leave Bags at Home,” by Marlisse Silver Sweeney.
Following is an excerpt:
Anyone who has ever waited more than five minutes to go through security at the airport can surely empathize. According to Michael Kun and Michael Thompson of Epstein Becker Green, in recent years employees have been suing employers for time spent in security screenings once they are off duty. Just this week, a case against Apple Inc. was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in California for the practice. The judge concluded the bag searches didn’t constitute a duty of the job because they could be avoided if the employees simply didn’t bring bags to work.
“To prove that they were subject to the control of Apple during the back checks, the plaintiffs had to show that: Apple restrained their actions during the bag checks and the plaintiffs could not choose to avoid the activity,” say Kun and Thompson. The judge determined that the first element was met when a worker wanted to leave the store with a bag, he/she had to stand in line, but the second element wasn’t because the security lines could be avoided by not bringing a bag.
Mr. Kun and Mr. Thompson also authored an article on this topic for Wage & Hour Defense Blog, an Epstein Becker Green publication.