A class action lawsuit filed by four former Apple retail employers over wage and hour violations began this week in San Diego this week. According to news reports, the lawsuit was originally filed in 2011 and was elevated to class action status in 2014. It accuses Apple of failing to provide timely meal and rest breaks and failing to pay all wages due upon ending employment within the required time. The lawsuit also states that Apple failed to provide accurate wage statements.
Failure to Provide Rest and Meal Breaks
The class action lawsuit would involve all current, former or prospective employees in California who have worked for Apple between December 16, 2007 and the time of the trial, which totaled 18,000 employees as of 2014. Any settlement awarded would be divided evenly among the class members. California Labor Code requires employees to be provided with at least one 30-minute meal break when the work period is more than five hours.
Employees should get at least a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked under state laws. The plaintiffs say Apple failed to always provide these required breaks for at least four years prior to the lawsuit. In addition, they say Apple took several weeks to send out a final paycheck to multiple employees. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages and repayment of all wages owed along with interest and legal fees.
Knowing Your Rights
Workers in California have a clearly protected right to meal and rest breaks. These breaks are important for employees to recuperate, rest and nourish themselves during the workday. More importantly, missing meal or rest breaks often results in less pay than the employee should otherwise receive. While a few bucks a day might not make a big difference, consider the result of consistently missed meal or rest breaks. Most workers find they are owed significant sums from their employer. And often, they don’t even realize it.
An employee who is not given a meal or rest break must be paid one hour of pay at their regular rate. If the employer refuses to pay this additional one hour’s wage, the employee may be able to file a wage claim or retain the services of an experienced California employment lawyer who will fightfor their rights and help them seek and obtain fair compensation for their losses.