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Apple workers complained to CEO Tim Cook for this unusual reason

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Opens In San FranciscoApple Worldwide Developers Conference Opens In San Francisco
Apple CEO Tim Cook.Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Days after the Worldwide Developers Conference announcements earlier this week, documents from a 2013 lawsuit against Apple (AAPL) have been released.

It appears that at least two employees e-mailed CEO Tim Cook directly about the company’s policy of searching workers’ bags as a security measure.

The class action suit against Apple came as former employees who were paid hourly wages say they were made to undergo searches of their personal items and were not paid during that time. The complaint was filed in San Francisco, according to Consumerist. The employees alleged that they sometimes waited as long as 30 minutes to have their bags checked.

In the e-mails to Cook, the employees said they felt like “criminals” and “animals,” according to Consumerist. According to the publication:

One worker wrote to Cook in April 2012 with the subject line “Fearless Feedback from Apple Retail Specialist,” saying that the bag check policies are “both insulting and demeaning to Apple employees.”

The unnamed worker wrote that Apple managers “are required to treat ‘valued’ employees as criminals” when asking employees to show their iPhones and cards when they leave and have their bags searched — all on their own time.

Cook is said to have forwarded the e-mail to retail and human resource executives, writing: “Is this true?”

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Denise Young Smith, Apple’s vice president of human resources, reportedly responded: “If it is simply a deterrent there has to be a more intelligent and respectful way to approach.”

A hearing is scheduled for July 2.