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Apple sued for indentured servitude

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Apple sued for indentured servitude
Egan Orion | Aug 7, 2008 10:08 AM
Class action for overtime pay

A LAWSUIT filed Monday in California seeks class action status alleging that Apple denied technical staffers required overtime pay and meal compensation in violation of state law.

Filed in the US District Court for Southern California, the complaint claims that many Apple employees are routinely subjected to working conditions resembling indentured servitude.

Lead plaintiff David Walsh was employed by Apple as a network engineer from 1995 until 2007. His complaint says he was often required to work more than 40 hours per week, miss meals, and spend his evenings and even entire weekends on call without any overtime pay or meal compensation. He fielded technical support calls that often came after 11 pm.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple intentionally misclassified Walsh and many other workers as management employees in order to avoid having to pay them overtime as required under California law for hourly workers. It seeks to include Apple retail stores' staff as plaintiffs.

If the plaintiffs win this lawsuit, a judge or a jury could require Apple to substantially revise its compensation practices and also pay retroactive compensation to many of its present and former technical and retail store employees, which could run into millions of dollars.

Apple has not yet responded to the complaint.

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