A California-based state court has granted the class certification to almost 21,000 Apple employees currently and formerly employed by the Cupertino-based company. The lawsuit revolves around claims that the company has denied their employees with proper meal and rest breaks and even the timely release of their last paychecks. The decision was given by Atty. Tyler J. Belong of San Diego.
As a representative, Atty. Belong talks about the case which had been filed by the "Plaintiffs" such as Brandon Felczer together with other Apple employees on the last month of the year 2011.
"The Plaintiffs sought to represent themselves and all other similarly situated Apple employees in California who were not provided timely meal breaks, timely rest breaks, and timely final paychecks according to California's Labor Code and Wage Orders." He further adds by saying "Just yesterday, after years of litigation, against Apple's opposition, and after voluminous briefing and lengthy oral argument, the California Superior Court granted Plaintiffs' motion and certified the case as a class action," Belong said.
As a result of the decision, Apple now has to face several claims that involves violations on meal breaks, rest breaks, and final pay which had affected around 20,000 of its current and former employees.
In California, the law states that employers are required to provide lunch breaks and rest breaks to employees with the length of each break to be determined according to the employee's number of work hours. It states that for the first five hours at work, an employee should get 30-minute lunch breaks. The next four hours at work should earn him around a 10-minute rest break. For those working on six to ten hour shifts, they should be provided with two rest breaks.
Judge Prager of the California court expressed that there is evidence showing Apple's failure to authorize second rest breaks as described by the above-mentioned circumstances. He further explained that the only way to "fairly and efficiently adjudicate" the claims is to categorize it as a class action lawsuit. This type of lawsuit involves high litigation costs for the individual and low potential for individual recovery.
Since the lawsuit involves more than 20,000 individual claims, a class action is most suitable and would enable a resolution to all individual actions on behalf of the other claimants to the case. Apple is said to be unreachable to give a comment. The company must be very busy with all the hype involved on its quarterly earnings report released only recently.