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Apple accused of violating California labor laws

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.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -13

    but its california

    you have to give employees regular paid breaks to shine their shoes, pick their noses, call their partners, and make donations to the communist party.

  1. Thrillington

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -8

    Uh huh

    Welcome to the working week. If it really bothered him during those 12 YEARS he could have quit. Too bad they didn't say why his employment ended. Could it be he's filing the suit because he was let go? Hmmmm...

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -7

    poor prick...

    ... working in California, he's got it sweet. Try working the TV or Motion Picture industries and see how many hours you work for no pay! More cheese with your California whine?

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +12

    Pretty sad.

    I'm glad I don't work for any of you.

    Geez, is it ok if Apple makes him work 24hour days, 7 days a week? There are labor laws to avoid taking advantage of employees. If Apple broke them, they should pay.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    Uh-oh!

    Someone is daring to sue apple? Hope he doesn't read MacNN, where he'll be blasted left and right, regardless of the validity of his claims.

    He should have just sued MS, he'd get a better reception.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -20

    hayseed

    The only thing "pretty sad" is how stupid you are. It's people like you they are looking for on juries in cases like this. (Perhaps you already served on OJs trial?) If ANY of this were true, don't you think 100s, if not 1000s of Apple employees would have been complaining for years? This incompetent a** got fired. Send me your address, hayesk, I'll mail you $1.00 to take a ride on the clue bus.

    Doofuses.

  1. gor3don

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    testudo

    Yah, and if his name was testudo, it would be even worse.

    But, did he really need THAT job that badly that he put up with it for 12 years? If Apple did break the law, they should be held accountable.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh please

    I'm a native born Californian and this has zero to do w/ California, or it's laws. In fact, we are an at-will employment state so you can be let go with or without a reason, at any time; on the other hand, you can quit a job w/out cause or notice, at any time, for any reason.

    I think this guy is sour grapes for the job he was doing, and should've started looking elsewhere if it was too demanding. It'll probably get thrown out of court, he knows it, and is probably hoping that Apple will settle w/ him for a few thousand dollars. If he reported them to the Dept. of Labor, they would've investigated Apple and then made a decision. If the investigation came out positive, he would have been able to sue (and win, no doubt). However, it sounds like he didn't do that and is just going ahead w/ this. s******.

  1. beb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    To both parties/camps...

    We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

  1. Shaktai

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Simple Facts

    The guy was a "network Engineer" a position that is commonly defined at the time of employment as exempt-salaried (aka management). The employee would have signed an agreement at the time of hire to be classified as such. Generally, salaried employees make a higher base salary then hourly employees to compensate for the increased work requirements. I have worked manager positions and it doesn't matter if you are managing people, systems, processes or other. I have been on call (for 5 years continously) and had to work overtime when needed for the good of the business. I still made good money relative to my responsibilities and the time spent actually working.

    This guy is trying to exploit not only California law but Federal law for personal gain. Nothing more and nothing less. He wanted the salary and benefits of the "network engineer" position, but didn't want to do the work which included being on call, and working overtime to keep the networks up.

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