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posted by Fnord666 on Friday February 14 2020, @06:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the who-needs-bags? dept.

Apple must pay store employees for bag-search time, court rules

Apple must pay its retail store employees for the time they spend waiting for mandatory bag searches at the end of their shifts, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The decision is retroactive, but it wasn't immediately clear how much Apple would have to pay.

The decision stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in 2013 by two former workers from Apple stores in New York and Los Angeles that claimed employees at physical locations were required to stand in lines up to 30 minutes long every day for store managers to check their bags to ensure they weren't smuggling home stolen goods. Failure to comply can lead to the employee's termination.

"Under the circumstances of this case and the realities of ordinary, 21st century life, we find farfetched and untenable Apple's claim that its bag-search policy can be justified as providing a benefit to its employees," Supreme Court Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the decision (PDF).

[...] "Given that Apple requires its employees to wear Apple-branded apparel while working but directs them to remove or cover up such attire while outside the Apple store, it is reasonable to assume that some employees will carry their work uniform or a change of clothes in a bag in order to comply with Apple's compulsory dress code policy," she wrote.

[...] "Apple may tailor its bag-search policy as narrowly or broadly as it desires and may minimize the time required for exit searches," Cantil-Sakauye wrote. "But it must compensate those employees to whom the policy applies for the time spent waiting for and undergoing these searches."

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


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  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @06:33PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @06:33PM (#958233)

    Does Apple get a break there because the employees enjoy it?

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @07:04PM (4 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:04PM (#958240) Journal

      Other companies don't get a financial break if their employees have job satisfaction.

      Why should Apple?

      --
      What can be done to stop bloggers from using the wrong color schemes?
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:37AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:37AM (#958358)

        Homophiliac slur on Tim Cook's sexuality is homophiliac.

        This ain't reddit.

        • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:27AM (2 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:27AM (#958416) Journal
          Please look up the word homophiliac. It means the opposite of homophobic, and then some. It isn't limited to sexual attraction. [wikipedia.org] it's the tendency of groups to be homogeneous, rather than heterogeneous. Think of whites only policies as an example. Someone like Trump would be a homophiliac because he likes segregation and those who support it.
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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:39AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @09:39AM (#958456)

            How are you going to continue living with this unhealthy Trump obsession into his second term?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:36PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:36PM (#958535)

              >going to continue living

              That's optimistic.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @07:26PM (37 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @07:26PM (#958248)

    I don't quite understand what Apple's position is here. If you can't leave until your employer lets you leave, how is that time you're waiting not considered work time?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday February 14 2020, @07:47PM (25 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday February 14 2020, @07:47PM (#958266) Journal

      Their point was that the employees didn't have to bring bags to work with them, therefore Apple's allowing them to bring their bags was of benefit and convenience to the employees and it was an costly to the company to have a manager immediately available for bag searches. Therefore the employees were waiting on their time, not the company's, because they didn't have bring their bags with them and cause the line and because if the company wanted to get its way they could just enact a "no bags" policy.

      They almost got away with it, too, except that Apple's rule was that employees can't wear their workwear outside the workplace and therefore bringing something to put their Apple shirts in was actually of convenience to the company.'

      Imagine working for a company so fucked up they think that bringing your purse or backpack to work with you is a hassle to them.

      --
      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @07:58PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:58PM (#958276) Journal

        Dear Apple,

        Think Differenter!

        Furnish employees with Apple uniforms for work. When turned inside out, the clothes now look like regular diverse street clothes not associated with employment at Apple. Employees don't need a change of clothes. They just turn their clothes inside-out.

        --
        What can be done to stop bloggers from using the wrong color schemes?
        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @10:59PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @10:59PM (#958332)

          Make the shirts reverse to a MS shirt. That should fix the problem.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:00AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:00AM (#958368)

            If I have to wear a Microsoft logo, I will insist on hazardous duty pay

            There is no way I want to attract those hordes of Microsoft users with their tech problems...especially in the days following a forced upgrade.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday February 14 2020, @08:52PM (4 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday February 14 2020, @08:52PM (#958304) Homepage

        " employees can't wear their workwear outside the workplace and therefore bringing something to put their Apple shirts in was actually of convenience to the company. "

        Are you telling me that they can't walk out in their uniform after their shift into their car or to the bus on the way home? Man, that's doubleplus seriously fucked. If I had to work for them I'd take my uniform off then go to the nearest McDonalds and change back into it and walk around for a while, perhaps do some shopping in it. God I fucking hate Silicon Valley and what its deranged dildo-sitters are doing to American culture.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Friday February 14 2020, @09:54PM (3 children)

          by sjames (2882) on Friday February 14 2020, @09:54PM (#958321) Journal

          If they wear their uniforms in an unsupervised situation they might hold wear them wrong.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:20AM (2 children)

            by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:20AM (#958354) Journal

            Probably more like the company does not want to see an Instagram of an apple-logo shirt employing messing around with their Samsung Galaxy or Windows/Linux laptops.

            --
            Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
            • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:58AM (1 child)

              by sjames (2882) on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:58AM (#958366) Journal

              Yes, joking aside, that, getting drunk in a bar, etc.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:47AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:47AM (#958382)

                Committing crimethink on youtube wearing an Apple shirt...

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by slinches on Friday February 14 2020, @09:38PM (15 children)

        by slinches (5049) on Friday February 14 2020, @09:38PM (#958313)

        What's really messed up is that they are treating their employees like criminals and searching them routinely. If I was ever asked to let management comb through my belongings before I leave, I would let them know that the only other check I will ever get from them is my final paycheck.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:39AM (11 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:39AM (#958359) Journal
          I remember when a Walmart droid wanted my sales receipt and to search my shopping bags even though we were something like 30 feet from the checkout. "No, and if you insist I'm calling the police." That is the wonderful thing about consent - they can have a policy posted somewhere saying I agree to their rules just by shopping there, but once I've finished shopping, even such a policy is no longer in effect. MY property. And of course consent can be withdrawn at any time. Otherwise it's not consent.

          Or maybe it was my threat to have him charged with assault - you don't touch me without my consent, even if it's just to take MY sales receipt from MY hands.

          Treat me like a crook, I'm not afraid to call the cops, because I'm not a crook.

          Also I wouldn't allow a search of my purse. Prescription medications, letting someone rummage around in it is a HIPPA violation if I don't consent, and requiring consent to a search that violates HIPPA is both discriminatory and creating a toxic work place.

          Funny how it's always the people in the lowest paying jobs who have to put up with suspicion that only crooks want to work for them.

          I remember one place I worked at some self styled security Ayatollah had put a password in my BIOS - and everyone else's. "Other people need access to my computer even when I'm not here. You can't trust me, then I can't work for you. You're saying I can't trust them, then I can't work with someone I can't trust."

          The people I find I can't trust I will deal with without all the paranoid craziness. Because if you are patient, the opportunity will present itself.

          --
          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:50AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:50AM (#958424)

            I can understand WalMart doing this...I hear way too much talk of how easy it is to rip off WalMart.

            I sure can't blame em for trying to stop this. It's almost like a modern rerun of that old three stooges and their electrical goods store.

            • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:00AM

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:00AM (#958426) Journal
              Nobody else does it - must be the fault of having shitty upper management. Too cheap to hire or train mystery shoppers. Most theft is aided by or committed by employees, not customers. Letting employees know that there are mystery shoppers among the real clients keeps them at least partly in check. Treating your workers with a bit of respect doesn't hurt either.
              --
              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:12AM (1 child)

            by hendrikboom (1125) on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:12AM (#958428) Homepage Journal

            Funny how it's always the people in the lowest paying jobs who have to put up with suspicion that only crooks want to work for them.

            Boss thinks, "If we pay them so little they have to steal to make ends meet."

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:41AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:41AM (#958445)

              More like, "If I were paid a nonliving wage and constantly crapped on by my employer, I'd either leave or steal from them. So, they must be stealing from us since they aren't leaving."

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:37AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:37AM (#958437)

            Ah the sound of white privilege, so fresh.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:25AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:25AM (#958443)

              More like the sound of someone who's never heard of shopkeeper's privilege [wikipedia.org] and is complaining about Canadians violating a U.S. privacy law (HIPAA, not HIPPA and the nearest equivalent is PHIPA) that only applies to "covered entities" and their "business associates" [hhs.gov], not any random person you will run into, that are defined by 45 CFR 103.160 [cornell.edu] as "Covered entity means: (1) A health plan. (2) A health care clearinghouse. (3) A health care provider who transmits any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction covered by this subchapter." and "Business associate: (1) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this definition, business associate means, with respect to a covered entity, a person who: (i) On behalf of such covered entity or of an organized health care arrangement (as defined in this section) in which the covered entity participates, but other than in the capacity of a member of the workforce of such covered entity or arrangement, [does health related or business services on behalf of a covered entity].

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:30PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @12:30PM (#958472)

            But I think we're dancing around the core problem here: it's a supply and demand labor market, and demand is less than supply. So Apple and Walmart can treat their employees terribly and get away with it. If an employee doesn't like it, they're cheap and quick to replace.

            The capitalist response is, "Make supply and demand work for you, get a skill that's sought after and you won't have this problem." That's an individual solution, but it's not going to save the 42% of American workers that make less than $15 an hour. If you support capitalism, you're comfortable with shitty lives for half of the workers in the economy. (And even for the ones paid better than that, life isn't all roses. I've paid $6,500 in medical bills so far this year, and it's only February. I'm lucky, I can afford it. Many people can't.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:08PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:08PM (#958486)

            self styled security Ayatollah

            That is what you get for hiring a self confessed liar as security.
            From a people well known to be thieves and proud of it.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:14PM (2 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:14PM (#958547)

            Does Walmart actually do this somewhere? I've never seen this. Is it a regional or local thing? I'm not a big fan of the place, but I do go there sometimes, mainly because my local one has a RO water dispenser. I never see anyone checked at the door.

            The only places I've ever seen this are Costco and Fry's Electronics. With Costco, it's part of your membership agreement; since it's a "private club", they can do this, and if you refuse they can revoke your membership. But they don't check bags, they just check your receipt, mainly to make sure you haven't been overcharged by the cashier. Fry's Electronics isn't like this though, and they have zero right to stop you, so (years ago when I lived near one and sometimes shopped there) I just went around them. I wouldn't even bother with that store any more; Amazon and other online shops are putting them out of business.

            • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:04PM (1 child)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:04PM (#958562) Journal
              Walmart must have gotten enough people pissed off because they don't seem to be doing it the last couple of years, but for the longest time it was a thing.

              As for Costco, they are checking for theft, not that you're being overcharged. And you can still tell them to pound sand - even a private member club doesn't suspend your statutory rights, and if they cancel your membership, you have every right to sue for reinstatement, because they are a business selling to consumers, and all consumer laws still apply. Their membership is a "contract of adhesion" and as such they don't have the legal right to terminate your membership except for cause - and standing up for your legal rights is not a valid cause. So stand up for your rights and collect some punitive damages.

              Though I've found Costco isn't worth it - the stuff they sell is often available at other stores for less.

              --
              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @01:58AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16 2020, @01:58AM (#958658)

                Just no. A contract of adhesion is one where one party does not have the ability to negotiate the terms, i.e. a "take it or leave it" situation. Nothing about that restricts your ability to voluntarily waive your right to not have security search your stuff and allow them to terminate it at will, especially when you explicitly, as opposed to implicitly, agree to them. Likewise, nothing in consumer laws requires them to sell you a membership either. Otherwise you would likewise be able to force private golf courses, restaurants, schools, etc. to let you use them too.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:23AM (2 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:23AM (#958442) Homepage Journal

          That, definitely ^ !

          Few times in my life has anyone searched my belongings, and more than half of those were during my Navy days. (Seabag inspection - if you're missing a pair of socks, or a windbreaker, you have to replace it in short order.) Quite simply, no one has the authority to go poking through your stuff, to see if there's anything they want.

          Wal-Mart has set itself up for a world of hurt, by inspecting shopper's bags at the exit. The bags contain your personal property, not store merchandise. The inspector won't allow you to exit the store, unless you permit him/her to search your stuff? That is kidnapping. Call the law immediately, and inform them that you have been kidnapped, and that you are not free to leave. Wal-Mart are just as big assholes as Apple.

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          • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:08PM (1 child)

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:08PM (#958564) Journal
            I'm amazed that anyone actually puts up with this bs. Especially since it can be financially rewarding to take them to small claims and get punitive damages. And any attempts to bar you from the store for standing up for your statutory rights won't end well for them .:.
            --
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            • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday February 17 2020, @05:49PM

              by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday February 17 2020, @05:49PM (#959224) Journal

              You're on private property and it is a private company. Just what "statutory rights" do you think you have? (Hint: It ain't the 4th amendment, that does not apply to a private business.) They can't strip search you or lay hands on your person, but they have every right to search your possessions or forbid you from entering the property again (doubly so when they tell you in advance and you have the option to not enter the property in the first place).

              --
              Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @10:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @10:37PM (#958329)

        Thank you. That does make sense. I don't agree with it, but I can understand the basis of their argument.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 14 2020, @07:55PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:55PM (#958273) Journal

      how is that time you're waiting not considered work time?

      Because the employee is not being 'productive' like if they were at their desk busy posting on SN.

      --
      What can be done to stop bloggers from using the wrong color schemes?
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by epitaxial on Friday February 14 2020, @08:05PM (2 children)

      by epitaxial (3165) on Friday February 14 2020, @08:05PM (#958280)

      So the court ruled in favor of the employees in this case but against them in one about Amazon? https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/business/supreme-court-rules-against-worker-pay-for-security-screenings.html [nytimes.com]

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sjames on Friday February 14 2020, @09:52PM (1 child)

        by sjames (2882) on Friday February 14 2020, @09:52PM (#958320) Journal

        Different court and Ca state law verses the Federal policy of "throw 'em to the wolves".

        Also, Ca's courts haven't been stacked by cheap labor conservatives the way the federal courts have been.

        The idea that if you're not free to leave, you're on the clock seems quite obvious to anyone who has EVER been on the clock, but apparently SCOTUS was a little fuzzy on that issue.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:46AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:46AM (#958438)

          > The idea that if you're not free to leave, you're on the clock seems quite obvious to anyone who has EVER been on the clock, but apparently SCOTUS was a little fuzzy on that issue.

          If you're ever on the cock, you better not leave until the fuzzy scrotus issues its verdict.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by slinches on Friday February 14 2020, @08:24PM (6 children)

      by slinches (5049) on Friday February 14 2020, @08:24PM (#958291)

      Yeah, the judge couldn't either.

      What really has me confused is that I thought Apple was one of those "enlightened" companies that supposed to treat its employees with respect. Instead, they treat their store "geniuses" like they are petty thieves. I worked in retail in the past where they sell small high dollar items and was never subjected to a bag search. If the company can't put enough trust in their own people not to steal, then that's a failure in the management and culture of the company.

      • (Score: 2) by Aegis on Friday February 14 2020, @11:54PM

        by Aegis (6714) on Friday February 14 2020, @11:54PM (#958350)

        This is Retail!

        It's enlightened if they don't periodically punch you in the nuts while you're there!

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:09AM (1 child)

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:09AM (#958371) Journal

        Interestingly, those are the very people Apple tells me are absolutely trustworthy when it comes to my valuable data and privacy. So which is it Apple, are they absolutely trustworthy beyond reproach or are they a rabid pack of thieves who just haven;t been caught yet?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:49AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:49AM (#958439)

          That's why Apple needs to crack down on them to sell you on their hardline discipline. That's how you can trust the damn slimeballs. Pour motiver les autres.

      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:55AM

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @04:55AM (#958425) Journal
        So they should wear a black T-shirt under their Apple shirt, with "SUX" in big white letters. It'll show through. And if the bosses complain say it means Software Usability eXpert, same as Web UX crappiness.
        --
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      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:20PM (1 child)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday February 15 2020, @05:20PM (#958549)

        What really has me confused is that I thought Apple was one of those "enlightened" companies that supposed to treat its employees with respect. Instead, they treat their store "geniuses" like they are petty thieves.

        Apple is just a very hypocritical company that knows how to make a huge profit by lying to its customers and treating them like crap. I have a family member who insists they install OS updates on her phone that intentionally break things, just to encourage her to upgrade to a newer model. I try to tell her to switch to Android phones (they're so cheap on the used market you can easily afford to get a newer one every year for less than buying into the Apple ecosystem) and she just ignores me. Apple is great at building an ecosystem that customers just don't want to bother leaving, even when they know they're being abused.

        • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:14PM

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Saturday February 15 2020, @06:14PM (#958565) Journal
          It's probably the always on always pinging their servers Facebook and Messenger shit. Same as it kills Android. The only real option is to remove them, and any other crap.

          And turn off both background refresh and internet access to anything you're not using at the moment. Your battery will thank you.

          --
          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by shortscreen on Friday February 14 2020, @07:28PM (2 children)

    by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 14 2020, @07:28PM (#958250) Journal
    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday February 14 2020, @07:40PM

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday February 14 2020, @07:40PM (#958257) Journal

      So, the final step is clear...

      How could this possibly have happened?!

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Friday February 14 2020, @07:53PM

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Friday February 14 2020, @07:53PM (#958272) Journal

      Nope. Amazon does not require their employees to change / cover up their official company workwear before leaving the building.

      --
      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by krishnoid on Friday February 14 2020, @07:44PM (2 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday February 14 2020, @07:44PM (#958261)

    But not enough to say that Apple's gonna owe them ... bag-time.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @08:09PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 14 2020, @08:09PM (#958283)

      But not enough to say that Apple's gonna owe them ... bag-time.

      /me rolls his eyes.
      Fine, take my mod point.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by sjames on Friday February 14 2020, @10:00PM

        by sjames (2882) on Friday February 14 2020, @10:00PM (#958324) Journal

        Helpful fellow zombie: rolls them back to you.

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