Apple (yes, THAT Apple) is scheduled to face a class action lawsuit that begins tomorrow morning here in San Diego Superior Court. The important wage and hour lawsuit against Apple began in 2011 when four Apple retail employees filed suit alleging several violations of wage and hour laws including:
- Failure to provide timely rest and meal time breaks
- Failure to pay all required wages within the legally specified time following termination of employment
- Failure to provide accurate pay statements
Apple filed a motion for summary dismissal which was rejected by the Court two years ago. The case was then elevated to a class action covering present, former and future California employees of Apple who worked for the company between the dates of 12/16/2007 and the time of trial – roughly 18,000 employees overall.
Apple is alleged to have violated California Labor Code that establishes the requirement to provide all employees who work more than 5 consecutive hours with a 30 minute meal break, as well as a 10 minute rest period for every four consecutive hours worked. The plaintiffs in this business employment dispute allege Apple “failed to always provide these breaks” for a period of many years prior to the filing of the lawsuit. The suit goes on to allege that Apple took several weeks to send out final paychecks to many employees within the class. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages as well as repayment of all wages owed, as well as interest and legal fees.
The numbers in this case are obviously substantial, but all San Diego business owners should take note of this proceeding. The California Labor Board and several state agencies have been cracking down on employers of all sizes who violate wage and hour laws. There is also a focus upon the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The civil penalty for misclassifying one employee is as much as $25,000, and the potential for unpaid overtime wages, benefits, health care, unemployment and workers compensation makes even a single violation a substantial financial event.
The business and employer defense attorneys at the Watkins Firm work to protect our clients from days like the one Apple will face tomorrow. Any employment dispute can lead to an important wage and hour lawsuit in the context of your own business and financial resources. Learn about the specific strategies you must deploy to protect yourself from these types of wage and hour allegations. Work with one of the most experienced law firms rooted in decades of service here in San Diego. We invite you to contact us for a free consultation at 858-535-1511. We work with our clients to review existing practices and policies, and to develop procedures and check points that ensure consistent application and documentation of all employer related wage and hour responsibilities.