A LAWSUIT against Apple filed on behalf of 20,000 employees at the firm has been granted class-action status, with the company facing allegations that it failed to provide staff with adequate breaks and final paychecks
The case was initially filed by four disgruntled Apple staff in 2011, and was granted class-action status on the same day Apple released its fiscal third quarter financial report. While the case was filed by just four ex-staff, a California judge has now given lawyers the right to represent a total of 18,000 Apple employees who worked for Apple after 16 December 2007.
It;s worth noting that at the time the case was filed it was believed that 18,000 staff could have been affected, but this number has since risen to "over 20,000." This includes everyone from call center representatives and Apple Store staff to junior engineers developing Apple's future gadgets, court documents reveal.
The complaint alleged that Apple did not, and perhaps still does not, give its employees adequate lunch breaks and rest periods or hand over final paychecks.
One claim, for example, is that managers at the firm made them work more than five hours without a break, and - when they did - withheld staff wages, while another alleges that discussing labour policies at the firm could lead to staff being "fired, sued or disciplined".
"Very often workers were not given meal breaks for seven or eight hours, and sometimes not at all," plaintiffs' counsel Tyler Belong told the Wall Street Journal, which also reported that Apple is embroiled in another class-action case filed by store workers who say they were not paid for time spent waiting for security to check their bags each time they left a store.
Apple has yet to respond to our request for comment on the case.
In separate news, Apple announced its fiscal third quarter earnings on Tuesday, revealing $7.7bn profits on revenues of $37.4bn. µ