updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed August 6, 2008
Apple breaking labor laws?
Apple has been violating California's labor laws for several years, a former employee charges. David Walsh has this week filed a lawsuit against the company, saying that in his work as a network engineer between 1995 and 2007, he was regularly made to work more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. Walsh also complains of being forced to miss meals, and spend evenings and weekends on call without due compensation.
In detail, the suit contends that despite working standard daylight shifts as well, Walsh was expected to stay available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with support calls often arriving at his home after 11PM, preventing undisturbed sleep. Walsh in fact accuses Apple of deliberately misclassifying people such as himself, labeling them "management" so as to avoid investigation by the government of California.
The company "intentionally and deliberately created numerous job levels and a multitude of job titles," documents add, "to create a roadblock to discovery and class certification for all employees similarly classified as exempt."
Walsh's attorneys are petitioning to raise the case to class action status, on the basis that all of Apple's IT workers may be affected, including those on call for the company's retail stores. Unspecified damages are being sought, and Apple has yet to reply to the accusations.