Make us your home page
Instagram

Apple faces class-action lawsuit from workers over pay

A judge's ruling this week raises the stakes in a lawsuit against Apple that accuses the tech giant of failing to provide its hourly workers with timely meal and rest breaks without compensating them with an extra hour's pay.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager certified the suit as a class action, expanding the plaintiffs to nearly 21,000 current and former hourly retail and corporate Apple employees over a four-year period.

That raises the ante from a small amount for the four named plaintiffs to potentially millions of dollars covering everyone from store workers to secretaries.

Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., declined to comment.

Jeffrey Hogue, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said, "We don't want to comment at this time. We're just happy they got certified and we believe we will ultimately prevail."

The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, covers the period from December 2007 to August 2012. Prager ruled that a class action "is the only feasible method to fairly and efficiently adjudicate these claims," given the high cost of filing a lawsuit compared with a small amount of recovery for each individual.

The plaintiffs provided evidence that Apple's policy gave workers a meal break after the first five hours of working, rather than during that period as required under California labor law, the judge noted, adding they also produced evidence that Apple's scheduling policy before Aug. 1, 2012, made taking meal and rest breaks "extremely difficult."

Employees were not compensated with an extra hour of pay for missed meal periods and breaks as required by California labor law and were also given inaccurate itemized wage statements, according to the suit.

Additionally, employees who quit or were dismissed were not given final paychecks in a timely manner as required by law, the suit alleges.

Apple's rules against discussing working conditions "allow Apple to invoke fear" in workers that "if they so much as discuss the various labor policies, they run the risk of being fired, sued or disciplined," the suit alleges.

Silver Taube, who started a Workers Rights clinic at the Community Law Center, called the ruling "quite an accomplishment'' for the plaintiff's lawyers. "It's very difficult to get class certification these days."

But the violations that Apple is accused of are common, she said. The center recently tallied 1,051 Labor Commission judgments recorded in Santa Clara County Superior Court against companies for similar violations. "So it is pretty widespread. There's also policies that don't conform with the law," she said.

The amounts involved for each worker "may not seem significant to some people, but when you are a low-wage worker and living paycheck to paycheck, it is significant," she said.

Apple faces class-action lawsuit from workers over pay 07/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]