No sooner does Apple settle one wage and hour lawsuit than another springs up in its place. The tech giant has already faced two separate class action wage and hour lawsuits from former retail employees last year alone. Most recently, a California judge has certified a class of 20,000 current and former Apple employees who worked, both in the tech mogul’s retail stores, and its corporate offices. The plaintiffs allege that Apple required them to skip meal and rest breaks, which are mandated by California labor law.
Under the relevant law, all employers conducting business in the state of California are required to provide their hourly non-exempt workers with a paid rest break lasting at least 10 minutes for every four hours of work. For every five hours worked, the employer must provide an unpaid, uninterrupted meal break lasting at least half an hour, and the employee must be able to take the break before the end of the five hours. If the employee is unable to take one of these breaks, for any reason, the law states that the employee must be compensated one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day.
According to the recent wage and hour lawsuit, Apple allegedly failed to provide these breaks, or the requisite compensation. Judge Ronald S. Prager, who certified the class, divided it into six subclasses: two meal break subclasses, one for retail and one for corporate employees; two rest break subclasses, one for retail and one for corporate employees; a waiting time penalty subclass; and a wage statement subclass.
When a worker’s employment with a company is terminated, California labor law requires that the employer provide the worker with her final paycheck within 72 hours of the employee’s termination. If an employee provides notice of termination of employment more than 72 hours ahead of time, then all wages must be paid upon termination.
Brandon Felczer, who worked for Apple from September, 2010 to November, 2011, claims that he provided notice of his termination more than 72 hours in advance. Nevertheless, Apple allegedly did not provide him with his final wages until two days later. Once he received the paycheck, Felczer alleges that it did not contain all of the wages that Apple owed him.
Felczer filed the class action wage and hour lawsuit in December 2011, alleging that some employees had to wait as long as one month after termination of their employment before receiving their final paychecks. Felczer also alleges that, while working for Apple, he and other employees were made to work shifts lasting five hours or more, without receiving the meal break that they are entitled to under California labor law.
Large companies, like Apple, sometimes try to cut corners and save a few dollars by allegedly taking advantage of their employees. In the end, though, these alleged illegal transgressions can cost them much more in legal fees and court-ordered awards, if the court chooses to rule in favor of the plaintiffs. In many cases, the companies would do better to adhere to the law to begin with.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large retail chains such as Apple, Walgreen’s, CVS, Urban Outfitters, GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited, Forever 21, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney’s, Lowes, Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple, Best Buy, Sears, K Mart, J.C Penney, Walmart and other retail chains for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, failing to pay for time spent on security checks, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.