Apple is seen by many as a company that you’d seize the opportunity to work for, but apparently that’s not always the case. Just ask 20,000 Apple employees in California who are suing their employer over poor working conditions. The class action lawsuit claims that Apple doesn’t allow its employees to rest or take adequate breaks, with individuals required to work up to 8 hours before they could stop to eat. And that practice isn’t restricted to one area of Apple’s business. The 20,000 people listed in the lawsuit includes everyone from call center representatives and Apple Store staff right through to junior engineers developing Apple’s future gadgets. It’s not just the long hours without a break that has caused a problem, though. If Apple employees included in this lawsuit are found talking about labor policies they are in danger of being disciplined, sued, or even losing their jobs. And if they are fired, the lawsuit claims that Apple is not honoring final pay checks in accordance with California law.
While Apple today reported its quarterly earnings, another group seized the moment to push out another bit of Apple-related news. The company is being sued in a class-action suit over a series of alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including the “timely” granting of meal and rest breaks as well as final paychecks. The case potentially affects some 20,000 current and former Apple employees in the state, the plaintiffs say. The case was originally filed in 2011 by four people who worked across both Apple’s retail and corporate operations. It was only certified as a class action yesterday, widening the pool of plaintiffs considerably. The full court documents for both the case and the class-action certification are embedded below. Tyler Belong, a lawyer with the firm Hogue & Belong in San Diego, which is representing the plaintiffs, describes the case to us like this: “The lawsuit was filed by Brandon Felczer and several other retail and corporate Apple employees (the “Plaintiffs”) beginning in December 2011. The Plaintiffs sought to represent themselves and all other similarly situated Apple employees in California who were not provided timely meal breaks, timely rest breaks, and timely final paychecks according to California’s Labor Code and Wage Orders. Just yesterday, after years of litigation, against Apple’s opposition, and after voluminous briefing and lengthy oral argument, the California Superior Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion and certified the case as a class action, appointing Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ counsel (Hogue & Belong) as the class representatives and class counsel on behalf of approximately 20,000 Apple employees. In other words, as of yesterday’s ruling, Apple now faces claims of meal period, rest period and final pay violations affecting approximately 20,000 current and former Apple employees.”