Apple has been ordered to pay a $2 million penalty after four retail employees from a San Diego Apple Store filed a lawsuit over meal and rest break policy. The complaint dates back to 2011 and became a class action lawsuit in 2013, although the retail policies were changed following the complaint in 2012.
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CNN notes that the complaint started around working conditions that may not have been compliant with California law before retail policy changed:
They alleged that the company failed to give them meal and rest breaks, and didn’t pay them in a timely manner, among other complaints.
California law requires employers to give hourly workers a 30 minute meal break if they’re working more than five hours a day. They’re also require to provide 10 minute breaks for every four hours worked.
The class action lawsuit covers Apple Store employees in the state of California who worked for the company from 2007 to 2012, which the report notes is about 21,000 people, although it’s not yet know how much of money will go those employees.
Jeffrey Hogue, one of the attorneys who represented the class action, said the $2 million verdict came down last Friday — but Apple could owe more money.
The second half of the case is expected to conclude next week, Hogue told CNNMoney.
If divided evenly, it would be just $95 per employee, but it’s likely some of the money will go toward attorney fees.
Apple has similarly faced class action lawsuits that have originated from retail employee complaints including another in 2013 that was based on employees being unpaid while waiting in line for mandatory security checks, although these complaints often don’t lead to payouts.
The time around the complaint that led to this verdict was particularly volatile for Apple Store employees as management shifted from Ron Johnson who left the company to briefly lead JCPenney before being fired to John Browett who himself was fired from the Apple Store chief position.
After Browett, the top retail spot remained open for a significant period before eventually being filled by Angela Ahrendts who left her role as Burberry CEO to reshape Apple Stores.