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February 14, 2020

Frlekin v. Apple Inc., S243805 (Feb. 13, 2020)

California law requires employers to compensate employees for “hours worked,” which is defined to include “the time during which an employee is subject to the control of an employer.” Apple argued that employees need not be compensated for the time they spend on an employer’s premises undergoing required exit searches of packages, bags, or phones voluntarily brought to work purely for the employee’s personal convenience.

The California Supreme Court rejected Apple’s argument. The Court held that when determining whether an employee is subject to an employer’s control, courts should consider the location of the activity, the degree of the employer’s control, whether the activity primarily benefits the employee or employer, and whether the activity is enforced through disciplinary measures. Applying this test, the Court determined that Apple’s employees were subject to Apple’s control while waiting for and undergoing exit searches.

[Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus brief supporting Apple in this matter]