Two Apple Store employees have launched legal proceedings against Apple after being subjected to what they claim were demeaning and overzealous bag searches.
Reuters reports on an ongoing case, explaining that "at least" two employees took their complaint direct to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
Court documents unsealed during the case about work and salary payments show that plaintiffs Amanda Friekin and Dean Pelle complained that searches were frequent and that emergency exits were blocked during the process.
The suit is filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California and participants are hoping for class action status.
The documents are partly redacted and repeated only in part by Reuters. They show employees claiming that the work environment in an Apple Store can be difficult and humiliating.
"These procedures are often performed in front of gawping customers," wrote one employee to Cook in 2012.
Another added that staffers are treated like "animals", and another that managers "are required to treat 'valued' employees as criminals". Staffers were subjected to bag and other checks at break times, lunchtimes and at the end of the day.
V3 has asked Apple to comment on the case and the report and is waiting for a response. Apple typically declines to comment on ongoing legal cases.
Cook forwarded the emails and their concerns to other members of the Apple team, asking whether the suggestions are true.
The other responses are not repeated, but one suggested that there might be a better way of doing things.
"If it is simply a deterrent there has to be a more intelligent and respectful way to approach it," wrote Denise Young Smith, Apple's vice president of human resources.
Reuters said that there will be hearing about the case on 2 July, and that more information is likely to follow.
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