LPM Insider Survey Results: Should Retailers Conduct Employee Bag Checks?

In last week’s LPM survey, we discussed the practice of checking employee bags upon exiting the stores, and class action lawsuits filed by hourly retail workers demanding that the company pay them for the time they spent waiting for loss prevention inspections after clocking out and before leaving stores.

Nike recently prevailed in a class action lawsuit filed by hourly retail workers demanding that the company pay them for the time they spent waiting for loss prevention inspections after clocking out and before leaving stores. According to attorneys, the court decision was influenced by the retailer’s study that showed associates spent an average of 18.5 seconds as part of off-the-clock employee bag checks—and that 60.5 percent of all exits required zero wait time.

The original article, “Security Footage Sinks Employee Lawsuit Targeting Employee Bag Checks” can be viewed here.

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Survey Results

More than 9 out of 10 (92 percent) of our survey participants believe that retail companies should continue employee bag checks when employees leave the store, with 47 percent agreeing that employee bag checks rarely inconvenience employees and only take a matter of seconds. 28 percent of respondents believe that if employees make the decision to bring bags to the workplace they should expect to have to wait to have them checked regardless of how long it takes to complete the inspection. Additionally, 18 percent of those participating in the survey feel that employers should move them time clocks closer to the exits where practical and allow employees to clock out after the inspection to avoid many of these issues.

Approximately 3 percent of respondents believe that the company should have to pay employees for the time that they are required to wait to have their bags inspected.

Contrarily, 5 percent of our survey participants believe that employee bag checks are unnecessary, unproductive, an invasion of privacy, and they should be eliminated altogether.

Here is a sampling of your comments:

“Based on society today and the risks, associate bags checks are a needed measure in protecting the environment and are an impression of control. Let’s remember this is work and extra “stuff” is not needed in the workplace.”

“At our company employee bag checks are a condition of their employment. We have signs clearly posted by the time clock stating they will be conducted on a random basis. If it’s an issue for them, either don’t bring a bag to work or work somewhere else.”

“Every company should have a good strategy for conducting the bag checks, like having the employee clock out after they get checked and conducting the bag checks in one spot near a time clock.”

“Most of the screening that takes place at our sites takes mere seconds. It is only those associates who bring shopping bags to the checkpoint that the process may take longer.”

“Employee bag checks may seem like an invasion of privacy, but on the other hand if an employee does not want to be inspected they should not attempt to bring anything in or out of the doors. Also, the bag checks I have conducted never hold an employee over 30 seconds.”

“The bags should be checked before the shift starts as well.”

“We set up our bag check several times a season, but we do this before the step where employees clock out.”

“Bag checks are important and we have developed several theft cases out of them.”

“Most employees get a 10-minute paid break throughout the day which more than offsets the time taken on the bag inspections.”

“We should all be involved in protecting the assets of our companies. Bag checks are useful, and should be welcomed, not fought.”

“I have identified several internal theft incidents as the result of bag checks. In my experience, stores who reinforce bag checks are more likely to deter concealment cases compared to those who do not.”

Do you have any additional thoughts? Let us know what’s on your mind.



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