Apple is facing another class action that could prove costly if 20,000 employees succeed. According to the New York Times, a California state court has certified a class of former Apple employees over wage and hour claims. The complaint states that the company failed to provide meal and rest breaks in accordance with state and federal labor laws. The lawsuit also alleges that the company denied the workers breaks entirely. The Superior Court judge in the County of San Diego granted class certification to retail employees and former workers at the Apple Corporate Headquarters.
Both federal and state laws protect workers from abuse and exploitation of workers. In many cases, individual or groups of employees may be forced to take legal action against employers who have violated wage and hour laws. Our Orange County wage and hour claims lawyers are experienced in handling complicated wage and hour and class action claims. For individuals who have suffered a wage and hour violation, we will take the time to review your case, identify your goals, and pursue any available legal recourse on your behalf.
The lawsuit involves wage workers, ranging from junior engineers to Apple Store employees. According to lawyers for the plaintiffs, Apple deliberately violated California labor law. In accordance with California law, employers are required to provide a 30-minute lunch break within the first 5 hours of an employee work shift. Employers must also designate a 10-minute rest period every four hours. California labor laws also require that a second break is provided when a shift runs between 6 and 10 hours. The Superior Court judge reviewing the Apple case found sufficient evidence that Apple failed to authorize a second rest period for workers taking on longer shifts. In addition to denying a second rest period, the complaint alleges that Apple’s policy did not provide for meal periods or rest periods. The case also involves the denial of final paychecks to Apple employees.
Nine months after the initial lawsuit was filed, Apple implemented a new policy in an effort to comply with the law. The case broadly covers instances of wage and hour law violations that took place between December 2007 and August 2012. Despite supporting evidence and allegations, a PR representative from Apple stated that it did provide workers with meal breaks and that scheduling did not conflict with late meals or rest breaks.
California law requires that employers compensate employees with an extra hour of pay each time that meal or rest breaks were denied. In the event that the class is successful in the lawsuit, Apple could be expected to pay tens of millions in damages. According to the presiding judge, Apple had no record of compensating employees for denied meal breaks or rest breaks prior to November 2012. As with other class actions, the judge determined that class certification was the best way to fairly and efficiently adjudicate the claims. It also ensures that the class is fairly represented and has the economic support to go up against such a powerful defendant.
Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 949.375.4734.
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