9th Circuit Kicks California ‘Bag Check’ Case Back to Lower Court

In a unanimous decision late last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals resuscitated class claims against retail giants Nike and Converse that allege employees are owed compensation for time spent undergoing security checks when exiting the retail stores (Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Stores, Inc.; Chavez v. Converse, Inc.).

On Friday June 28, the federal appellate court held that the lower district court – which had ruled in favor of the employers by applying the federal de minimis doctrine – needs to conduct a do-over to comply with a recent California Supreme Court decision that all but eliminates the de minimis doctrine based on the facts before the high court. The bar set by the courts is high; California employers may now need to pole vault in order to scale it.

As a loss prevention measure, many retailers require their store employees to undergo a “bag check” or security check whenever they leave the store to confirm that are not taking any merchandise. But some employees have complained that they should be paid for the time they are required to spend during these checks, and these disputes have often ended up in court. California retail employers have seen the bag check battle waged several times over the past few years… JD Supra

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