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Court rules Apple must pay California workers during bag checks

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The California Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Apple must pay employees for time spent waiting for their bags and personal electronic devices to be searched when they leave work.

The decision means that the tech giant will have to pay millions of dollars to more than 12,000 hourly workers at California retail stores who fall under the mandatory bag-search policy.

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According to court documents, Apple employees are required to clock out before submitting to an exit search which can take from five to 20 minutes.

On the busiest days, employees say the wait time can be as long as 45 minutes. Those who refuse to have their belongings searched are subject to discipline, including termination.

A lower court had previously sided with Apple, ruling that time spent by employees waiting for the exit searches cannot be considered “hours worked” under California law.

The plaintiffs escalated the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which asked the Supreme Court to address the state law issue.

The state’s high court in its decision issued on Thursday rejected Apple’s argument that its employees could easily avoid a search by choosing not to bring a bag or iPhone to work.

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Quoting from a US Supreme Court decision, it noted that cell phones are “now such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”

“The irony and inconsistency of Apple’s argument must be noted,” the court added.

“Its characterization of the iPhone as unnecessary for its own employees is directly at odds with its description of the iPhone as an ‘integrated and integral’ part of the lives of everyone else.”

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Apple representatives could not immediately be reached for comment on the ruling.

The Apple case is the third the state high court has considered in recent years as related to minimum wage and time during which workers are under employers’ control.

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In 2018, the court ruled that Starbucks has to pay for off-the-clock work — such as going through the checklist for closing the store — that can last a few seconds or minutes past someone’s shift.


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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