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Apple Owes $2 Million for California Labor Lawsuit

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San Deigo, CAA California labor lawsuit that alleged Apple did not properly provide meal and rest breaks and did not pay employees in a timely manner has resulted in a $2 million award to employees. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2011 by employees who worked at Apple retail stores in San Diego and was later changed to a class action lawsuit including California employees who worked at Apple retail stores from 2007 and 2012.

The lawsuit alleged that Apple's meal period policy did not comply with California labor law, and caused employees to work more than five hours straight without the opportunity to take their meal period and with no additional pay when they missed their meal break. The plaintiffs claimed they did not waive their right to a meal period, nor did they waive their right to a rest break.

The jury agreed with Apple employees, finding that they should have received proper meal breaks and awarding them $2 million.

Additionally, plaintiffs alleged they were not paid in a timely manner when their employment with Apple was terminated. One employee, Ryan Goldman, was reportedly terminated from his position on January 11, 2011, but did not receive a final paycheck until almost a month later, on February 7, 2011.

Finally, the lawsuit alleged Apple restricted its employees from discussing working conditions.

"The majority, if not all, of Apple's employment policies, make it clear that Plaintiffs are not allowed to discuss Apple's working conditions," the suit claimed. By prohibiting employees from discussing Apple or it's policies, Apple was able to "invoke fear into the class members that if they so much as discuss the various labor policies, they run the risk of being fired, sued, or disciplined."

According to reports, around 21,000 workers were included in the lawsuit, meaning the amount per worker would be small. But a bench trial could determine whether people who worked at Apple's corporate offices and were not exempt from breaks are similarly eligible for an award.

Under California labor law, employees are entitled to a thirty-minute unpaid meal period when they work more than five hours in a shift and a 10-minute paid rest period for every four hours worked or major portion of four hours.

The lawsuit is Felczer et al v. Apple Inc, case number 37-2011-00102593, in Superior Court of the State of California, San Diego.

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