Former employee hits Apple with unpaid overtime suit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A new lawsuit accuses Apple of failing to pay its employees proper wages for overtime work, alleging the Mac-maker demanded its employees put in more than 40 hours per week without proper compensation.



Filed in a U.S. District Court in Miami, Fla., this week, the class-action suit, on behalf of former Apple employee Kenyon Zahner and other unnamed plaintiffs, claims that the employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, and that the employees are entitled to compensation for their unpaid overtime.



"During Plaintiff's employment, Defendant (Apple) required Plaintiff (Zahner), a non-exempt employee under the FLSA, and others similarly situated, to work in excess of forty (40) hours per work-week, and willfully refused to compensate Plaintiff, and others similarly situated, for all such work pursuant to the FLSA," the suit reads.



The four-page lawsuit offers minimal details on Zahner or his role in Apple. It does not mention whether he worked at an Apple Store or elsewhere, or what he did for the company. It simply says that Zahner is a former employee of Apple in Florida. The company yet has not filed a response with the court.



Zahner and his co-plaintiffs were unable to produce the exact amount of overtime they believe they are owed. The suit alleges that the hours worked by the employees are in the "exclusive possession and sole custody and control" of Apple. The court filing states that the employees are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for their overtime work.



"The Plaintiff, however, will exert diligent efforts to obtain such information by appropriate discovery proceedings, to be taken promptly in this case," the suit reads.



The suit asks for compensation according to the FLSA, including liquidated damages and coverage of attorney costs and court fees. The plaintiffs have requested a trial by jury. The suit was filed Monday in a Broward County, Fla., court.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    dualiedualie Posts: 334member
    You mean they didn't keep track of their own hours?
  • Reply 2 of 94
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dualie View Post


    You mean they didn't keep track of their own hours?



    second
  • Reply 3 of 94
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Something about this is very fishy.
  • Reply 4 of 94
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Something about this is very fishy.



    I recall similar claims made many years ago against Apple. This sort of thing should be worked out in mediation.
  • Reply 5 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dualie View Post


    You mean they didn't keep track of their own hours?



    I can see how if you use a digital time clock, you get lazy and just punch in and out without keeping track. However, you should receive a copy of your hours when you get paid. Even if you trusted the company and never looked at it, you should probably start doing so and keeping track of your own hours if you think you are being unfairly compensated. How can you prove a case if you don't have, you know, proof?
  • Reply 6 of 94
    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.
  • Reply 7 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobringer View Post


    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.



    +1 and I share you situation (consulting?). I often come across articles of people bit*ing about working 10 extra hours over one month and not getting paid. We're usually in a good spot when we're "only" working 50hrs / week. Lolol
  • Reply 8 of 94
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobringer View Post


    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.



    Are you an exempt or non-exempt employee?
  • Reply 9 of 94
    This smells fishier that 2 day old warm sushi
  • Reply 10 of 94
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    I recall similar claims made many years ago against Apple. This sort of thing should be worked out in mediation.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobringer View Post


    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.



    If I recall correctly, the previous issue was an exempt employee (ie, salaried; ie, you get paid the same regardless of how many hours you work, for those who may not be familiar with the terms).



    I'm in the same boat as you, bobringer. I assume you are also an exempt employee. But if this guy is non-exempt, and is being paid hourly (vs a set salary), then he should be getting paid for overtime. In the rare circumstance that he works less than 40 hours, you can bet Apple will pay him less. If he works more he should get paid more, depending on the specific Florida laws that govern non-exempt employment.



    That said, if he can't prove the hours he worked, he's going to have a tough time in court.
  • Reply 11 of 94
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobringer View Post


    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.



    That's not the point.



    There are certain professions where your base salary is expected to compensate for any overtime that you do. The extreme example is a CEO, many of whom work well above 40 hours a week due to the high level of responsibility they take on.



    At the other extreme is somebody being paid minimum wage. They're being paid rock-bottom wages. It's expected that if they work above and beyond their hours that they get compensated because they earn so little. What's more, the idea is since many of them have families and are struggling to make ends meet, time away from their families should be compensated.



    Obviously, the vast majority of people fall in between these two extremes. I don't know where this particular employee fits.



    However, if he's a retail employee not making a good salary (say, $40,000) that doesn't entail a lot of responsibility, then I'd say that he's getting a bad deal. On the other hand, if he's a senior software developer pulling down six figures, then I have less sympathy.
  • Reply 12 of 94
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,432member
    I was an Apple Store part time employee in one of the first stores. I don't recall a time clock or any other formal accounting for hours. Our schedule for the week was posted in the back room and we just showed up, did our hours, went home, and picked up our paychecks when we were told they were ready. I believe that the store manager kept track of hours. I never had any complaints and was never asked to work for free. Things may have been relatively loosey-goosey in the early days as Apple was feeling its way through the retail experience, and are probably much different now with so many more stores and employees. It was fun and exciting in those days. I remember fondly the free water that the Geniuses gave out from refrigerators built into the cabinets behind the Genius Bar.
  • Reply 13 of 94
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    I work in the games industry and it's very common to not get paid overtime, yet you're expected to do it (during 'crunch' at least).
  • Reply 14 of 94
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,622member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobringer View Post


    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.



    First of all, if it weren't for the assistance of France, the colonial revolt that resulted in the creation of the U.S. and its Constitution would have almost certainly have failed. Perhaps another later revolt might have succeeded or the colonies might have achieved independence in another way, but there's no certainty that the country you live in would be the same one you are lucky enough to live in today. So, the next time you want to bash the French, why don't you just show a little gratitude for the privileged life you live instead.



    Secondly, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that you are being compensated at a considerably higher rate than the average hourly employee. So, instead of ridiculing those who are paid hourly at lower rates, again, why don't consider how lucky you are for your good fortune.



    Lastly, while I make no judgment on the validity of the claims against Apple, for those who are paid hourly, the problem of employers stealing labor by not fully compensating them for the time worked is not an uncommon occurrence.



    And, frankly, I think you'd be crying pretty hard yourself if your employer decided to not pay you the amount that was agreed upon in your next paycheck, or if you're self employed, if your customers helped themselves to a 20% discount.
  • Reply 15 of 94
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobringer View Post


    Welcome to the United States of France.



    Waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa...



    I work about 70 hours a week. Very little sympathy of those afraid of a good day of hard work.



    Did you get paid for those extra hours of work?
  • Reply 16 of 94
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    So they're saying: "I didn't get paid for extra hours that I worked, but I can't prove I worked those extra hours."



    Their lawyer must be a real winner.
  • Reply 17 of 94
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    I don't know what the law is like in Florida but in California, exempt vs. non-exempt is a bit tricky.



    Just because a company pays you like a salaried worker (not by the hour) doesn't automatically make you exempt. California put strict requirements in place describing the duties an exempt worker must be responsible for to quality as exempt. They did this to prevent companies from avoiding OT by making their workers salaried employees.



    I think this was Apple's problem in the other lawsuit which was filed in California (don't quote me on that). However, I have no idea if Florida has similar restrictions.



    -kpluck
  • Reply 18 of 94
    wonder if these "former" employees are now working at Palm
  • Reply 19 of 94
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    First of all, if it weren't for the assistance of France, the colonial revolt that resulted in the creation of the U.S. and its Constitution would have almost certainly have failed.



    Are you honestly saying we should be nice because completely different French people under a completely different French government were incredibly helpful to completely different Americans under a completely different British government?
  • Reply 20 of 94
    jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guartho View Post


    Are you honestly saying we should be nice because completely different French people under a completely different French government were incredibly helpful to completely different Americans under a completely different British government?



    I suppose we're all still guilty of the abomination that was slavery, too.
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