wednesday, 31 july of 2013

Apple Inc. Faces Class Action Lawsuit from Retail Employees


Apple Inc. Faces Class Action Lawsuit from Retail Employees

Apple Inc. is truly going through the grinder this week! After the report the China Labor Watch group released yesterday against Pegatron, an Apple supplier, the tech giant is receiving another wave of bad press. Its own employees are gathering to slam the MAC creator with a class action lawsuit. The retail store employees are stating that Apple never paid them during mandatory bag searches. The searches take up to 15 minutes after each shift and the big fruit company never reimbursed employees for a time they mandated.

The case is labeled under Amanda Frlekin and Dean Pelle v. Apple, Inc. The suit is listing the employees lost wages due to the security issues implemented by their former employer. The complaint lists, "Apple has engaged and continues to engage in illegal and improper wage practices that have deprived Apple hourly employees throughout the United States of millions of dollars in wages and overtime compensation."

The class action lawsuit extends to "[a]ll Apple Hourly Employees who worked in an Apple, Inc. retail store in the United States, who are or were employed within the three years preceding the the filing of this action by the Defendant, and who were: (a) not compensated for off-the-clock time spent waiting in security screening lines and undergoing personal package and bag searches before being allowed to leave the premises; and/or (b) were not fully compensated for this time worked over forty hours per week at overtime rates."

The suit from the former Apple retail employees insist on their personal loss of income. Apple, Inc. has a procedure that any bags the employee walks in with for the day must be checked when the employee goes to lunch or leaves for the day. This protects the retailer from a loss stemming from stolen goods. Unfortunately, Apple failed to reimburse employees for this mandatory 10 to 15 minute daily bag check, up to twice daily.

One of the plaintiffs reportedly worked over 50 minutes, attributing to overtime, which was never compensated, on a weekly basis. Considering that amount, the employee allegedly lost around $1,400 in annual wages. Apple has experienced a busy week and it’s still early enough for more! The sudden and abrupt announcement of the iPhone 5C- speculation continues on the C (it could mean color for the rumored various colors, or poly-carbonate material used) ruined any announcements by the company.

Then of course, the report released yesterday from the China Labor Watch group. The 60-page document accused Apple supplier, Pegatron of labor violations in China based facilities. Pushing workers to unhealthy and beyond brinks to produce the inventory to satisfy the hungry smartphone masses.  Then rumors surfaced the much anticipated iWatch device is facing engineering problems leading to severe delays.

We’re sure CEO Tim Cook is somewhere pleading to missed founder Steve Jobs for a reprieve. Earlier this year, Apple Inc. just dished out $53 million dollars for failing to meet its iPhone warranty policy. Apple was denying consumers their warranty replacement to buyers of the early iPhone and iPod generations, which were grandfathered into replacements under the former ‘Liquid Damage Policy.’  It’s still up for review how much the latest class-action lawsuit will end up costing Apple, if anything. Former retail employees are pushing for more co-workers to step up and join the suit to be paid for time lost, due to the mandatory security policies from Apple.

(Published by Guardian Express – July 30, 2013)

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