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Employers Can Search Your Bags

(File photo.  Credit: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(File photo. Credit: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Employees are suing Apple, over its practice of searching their bags – and not for the reason you’d think.

The geniuses who work at Apple and are paid hourly for their work are suing the pretentious computer maker over its theft prevention practice of searching their bags when they leave for break and when they leave for the day. What? You say. That’s invasion of privacy! No it’s not.

Most employers, like Apple, and probably yours, have a policy that says they will search anything you carry with you onto the premises. You have no expectation of privacy in a bag you bring with you so the company has the right to search it. What they don’t have the right to do is make you spend time for which you are not being compensated waiting for them to paw through your bag.

That’s the reason Apple is being sued. Workers claim that they weren’t being paid overtime even though they couldn’t leave until the search was completed, which, according to the suit, pushed their hourly total over 40 in a week, so they should have been paid overtime. If your hourly job involves overtime, you need to be paid even if you’re not enlightening the world with your genius while standing there.

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