Apple sued for not paying New York Apple Store staff weekly

Posted:
in General Discussion
An ex-Apple employee has launched a class-action suit against Apple, claiming the company broke New York employment by paying its employees every other week instead of weekly.




Filed on April 4, the attempted class action complaint by plaintiff Raven Ramos on behalf of all Apple employees in the state of New York "that engage or have engaged in manual work in the course of their employment" alleges that Apple has, and continues to, violate labor law in the state.

Under New York law, manual workers are required to be paid on a weekly basis, unless there is an express authorization from the New York State Department of Labor Commissioner allowing for payment to occur on a semi-monthly basis.

It is believed that Apple did not receive this authorization for its store staff, and that it paid wages every other week instead of weekly. The suit proposes that its store staff should be covered under the law, and therefore Apple was breaking it.

The lawsuit reckons that approximately 25% of the job responsibilities Ramos had would be classifiable as manual labor. These tasks included "working the sales floor, unboxing products, emptied cash registers, and assisted customers."

Ramos, who lives in Port Chester, was employed by Apple between October 2010 and January 2018, at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. Throughout that period, Apple only paid wages every other week, and not weekly -- like nearly every other retail establishment in the United States.

It is said Ramos is injured by the failure to pay wages weekly because "she was temporarily deprived of money owed to her," and that she "lost the time value of that money."

The suit claims the class covers at least 100 members, with the total claims of individual members of the class "well in excess" of $5 million.

In terms of what the class would seek to regain from Apple, it proposes the class is entitled to recover "the amount of their untimely paid wages as liquidated damages," as well as reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, and pre- and post-judgment interest. A numerical value for this supposed loss was not offered in the filing, but is probably expected to be upwards of $5 million.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    kelemorkelemor Posts: 21member
    Really…..
    opening boxes and emptying the cash register …..
    magman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 54
    Seems frivolous. 
    magman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 54
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    Seems frivolous. 
    Seems like an open and shut case.  Apple didn't have permission, therefore Apple broke the law.
    edited April 5 beowulfschmidtronn
  • Reply 4 of 54
    Apple retail stores have been open for over twenty years. This person worked for 8 years and didn’t quit or file a suit while working? For 8 years the biweekly pay schedule worked somehow? There are 11 Apple stores in NYC alone operating for over 15 years, has the state not noticed what frequency Apple pays thousands of employees? I get the idea that someone wants their earnings as soon as possible, but the money is the same amount it would be either way, it’s how it’s managed between pay checks. Not sure of the merit of this case.
    magman1979viclauyycwatto_cobrajony0Detnator
  • Reply 5 of 54
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 176member
    We've come a very long way in this country if we consider unboxing products and emptying cash registers "manual labor." The law must have been written for ditch diggers, hod carriers, masons, roofers, carpenters, house painters, and so on. Unless the complainant regularly (every day) lugged Mac Pro boxes to the customers' waiting limousines or cabs, this sounds like the Venn diagram overlap of a slightly unhinged ex-employee and an unethical attorney.
    retrogustomagman1979bloggerblogviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0forgot username
  • Reply 6 of 54

    Section 190(4) of the New York State Labor Law defines a “manual worker” as “a mechanic, workingman or laborer.” It has been the long-standing interpretation of this Department that individuals who spend more than 25% of working time engaged in “physical labor” fit within the meaning of the term “manual worker.” Furthermore, the term “physical labor” has been interpreted broadly to include countless physical tasks performed by employees.

    https://dol.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/03/frequency-of-pay-frequently-asked-questions.pdf

    I can't claim to have any in-depth knowledge of precedents involving what has previously qualified as manual labor in NY, but the "interpreted broadly" and "countless physical tasks" aspect of the wording make it sound like this is not necessarily a frivolous lawsuit. Long shot? Seems like it, but not without some merit. 


    Alex_VFileMakerFellerronn
  • Reply 7 of 54
    We can be critical of Apple's possible, though somewhat far-fetched IMO (but that's for a court to decide), failure to comply with the law, and also ridicule a person who spent 8 years without complaining about that failure, both at the same time.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 54
    M68000M68000 Posts: 486member
    Really surprising that Apple may have dropped the ball here.  I’m no expert in labor laws but know the company I work for has many employees in NY and abides by the labor laws , despite the majority of employees not being in NY.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,895member
    crowley said:
    Seems frivolous. 
    Seems like an open and shut case.  Apple didn't have permission, therefore Apple broke the law.
    Uh, no.  Apple didn't consider them manual laborers under the law, which was quoted above.  It's actually a potentially very complicated issue.  A court will decide whether the suit can even go forward.  They may have to prove that Apple knew their interpretation was questionable, or deliberately manipulated the system.  The court will have to decide what the intent of the law was.  Was it really to protect retail sales people because they open boxes sometimes? I imagine past practice and the length of time they paid bi-weekly without complaint or warning will factor in.  The damages also seem extremely overstated.  A $5,000,000 judgement would mean (before lawyers' fees) would be $50K per claimant.  All because they didn't have use of the money every week instead of every week? On what is that based...checking account average interest?  My gut tells me this goes nowhere.  
    lkruppdavenretrogustobloggerblogviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0DetnatorjscottaFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 10 of 54
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,095member
    We can be critical of Apple's possible, though somewhat far-fetched IMO (but that's for a court to decide), failure to comply with the law, and also ridicule a person who spent 8 years without complaining about that failure, both at the same time.
    Yes because people employed as sales associates, cashiers, waiters, dishwashers, and cooks generally hold law school degrees and have several years experience in NY labor law.
    foregoneconclusionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 54
    davendaven Posts: 646member
    crowley said:
    Seems frivolous. 
    Seems like an open and shut case.  Apple didn't have permission, therefore Apple broke the law.
    Not so open and shut. From the article:  “The lawsuit reckons that approximately 25% of the job responsibilities Ramos had would be classifiable as manual labor.“. Later in the article it says the laws requires that more than 25% of the work must be manual so the plaintiff has a couple of hurdles. They need to prove that more than 25% of the work was manual not that “approximately 25%” and that the work claimed was manual. It is debatable that chatting with customers is considered manual labor. 
    viclauyycwatto_cobrajony0forgot username
  • Reply 12 of 54
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    sdw2001 said:
    crowley said:
    Seems frivolous. 
    Seems like an open and shut case.  Apple didn't have permission, therefore Apple broke the law.
    Uh, no.  Apple didn't consider them manual laborers under the law, which was quoted above.  It's actually a potentially very complicated issue.  A court will decide whether the suit can even go forward.  They may have to prove that Apple knew their interpretation was questionable, or deliberately manipulated the system.  The court will have to decide what the intent of the law was.  Was it really to protect retail sales people because they open boxes sometimes? I imagine past practice and the length of time they paid bi-weekly without complaint or warning will factor in.  The damages also seem extremely overstated.  A $5,000,000 judgement would mean (before lawyers' fees) would be $50K per claimant.  All because they didn't have use of the money every week instead of every week? On what is that based...checking account average interest?  My gut tells me this goes nowhere.  
    Of course the damages are overstated.  They always are so that can be negotiated down.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    Whatever the outcome, Apple are nickel and diming at the expense of their own employees.  Just pay your low wage workers weekly ffs.
    lkruppronn
  • Reply 14 of 54
    docbburkdocbburk Posts: 95member
    crowley said:
    Seems frivolous. 
    Seems like an open and shut case.  Apple didn't have permission, therefore Apple broke the law.
    Except for the fact that it’s a huge stretch to consider working in an apple store manual labor! $5 million? This is a lawyers attempted extortion.  Let these whiny babies actually work manual labor.  Emptying a cash register, working a sales floor, unboxing?  Seriously, they need a reality check!  That is not even close to why that law was written.  
    retrogustoviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 54
    ApplePoorApplePoor Posts: 167member
    Notice that these folks were not the janitorial staff which could be classed as manual labor. Really, carrying an iPod out to the sales floor from the secure area in back is so strenuous....
    retrogustodavenviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0forgot username
  • Reply 16 of 54
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,895member
    crowley said:
    sdw2001 said:
    crowley said:
    Seems frivolous. 
    Seems like an open and shut case.  Apple didn't have permission, therefore Apple broke the law.
    Uh, no.  Apple didn't consider them manual laborers under the law, which was quoted above.  It's actually a potentially very complicated issue.  A court will decide whether the suit can even go forward.  They may have to prove that Apple knew their interpretation was questionable, or deliberately manipulated the system.  The court will have to decide what the intent of the law was.  Was it really to protect retail sales people because they open boxes sometimes? I imagine past practice and the length of time they paid bi-weekly without complaint or warning will factor in.  The damages also seem extremely overstated.  A $5,000,000 judgement would mean (before lawyers' fees) would be $50K per claimant.  All because they didn't have use of the money every week instead of every week? On what is that based...checking account average interest?  My gut tells me this goes nowhere.  
    Of course the damages are overstated.  They always are so that can be negotiated down.

    Well, obviously.  No response to the other substantive parts? Do you still think it's open and shut?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 54
    crowley said:
    Whatever the outcome, Apple are nickel and diming at the expense of their own employees.  Just pay your low wage workers weekly ffs.
    Dumbest take in all this.

    How is Apple “nickel and diming”? Employees are paid their full wages. 

    Imagine filing a lawsuit that states you want to pay your “insert monthly bill here” weekly, instead of monthly, because paying a large amount once a month is strenuous and you want to break it up into weekly payments, even though the dollar amount remains the same.
    It is said Ramos is injured by the failure to pay wages weekly because "she was temporarily deprived of money owed to her," and that she "lost the time value of that money." 
    Fuck off with this bullshit. What are you, a world-class day trader that earns massive dividends on every dollar you make? You’re missing out on that big deal because you had to wait an extra week for your ‘full’ paycheque?

    Put another way, bills are due every month. By hanging on to money for a month you’re depriving the company you owe money of the time & value of that money by waiting an entire month to pay them.
    magman1979viclauyycwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 18 of 54
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 986member
    This sounds like some entitled young person who has no idea what manual labor really is. There are plenty of other retail stores in New York that will provide sufficient context for this. I used to carry my company laptop around and occasionally refill the printer in the office when it was out of paper, but I certainly didn’t consider myself a manual laborer.

    On the plus side, for the rest of Raven Ramos’ life, whenever a prospective employer googles their name, this will probably come up in the results.
    edited April 5 williamhviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 54
    I don’t know about the US, but in Canada you need to file in a reasonable time if you feel any condition of your employment is unjust (like your employer changing the terms of your contract or salary).

    If you don’t raise the issue within this “reasonable time” then you are said to have implicitly accepted the terms of your employment.

    How can someone work for 8 years decide almost 4 years after they leave a company that they weren’t happy with the terms of their employment?
    retrogustoviclauyycwatto_cobraOctoMonkey
  • Reply 20 of 54
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,263member
    crowley said:
    Whatever the outcome, Apple are nickel and diming at the expense of their own employees.  Just pay your low wage workers weekly ffs.
    Your shortsighted and anti-Apple troll commentary here on a consistent basis is all the justification this site needs for a downvote function in the comments.

    Better still, you should just be kicked out to spare us your diatribe.
    edited April 5 lkruppgreginpragueviclauyycwatto_cobrajedwards87jony0Detnator
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