Apple Ordered to Pay $2 Million to 21,000+ Former Retail Employees as Part of Class Action Settlement

Apple Ranks Behind Google, Amazon, Microsoft in 'Ideal Employer' Survey Credit: Apple
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Back in 2011, a group of four former Apple Store employees from San Diego, California, disgruntled with what they believed was their former employer’s unfair treatment of its retail staff filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the Silicon Valley tech-giant’s policies “forbade them from so much as discussing their working conditions,” among other things, according to Engadget.

Between the case’s original filing over five years ago, and Thursday morning’s underwhelming verdict being handed down, the four employees nonetheless waged full-scale legal warfare against Apple — with their case ultimately being granted class-action status in 2014, when an additional 21,000+ former Apple retail store employees, based in the state of California, joined the case as plaintiffs.

According to CultofMac, the California-based Mac-maker was ultimately determined by the jury to have “illegally denied retail staff meal and rest breaks” — and, in other instances, were determined to have taken weeks or months to distribute final paychecks to departing employees.

As a result of the employee’s long-fought battle, Apple was ordered by the court to award a modest $2 million to those named as plaintiffs in the suit. Unfortunately, since attorney and associated legal fees also have to be factored in, that paltry, seven-digit sum, will be placed in a trust fund, as determined by the court — from which attorneys will be paid, court costs will be covered, and, as ultimate restitution for the plaintiffs who stuck around and saw this thing through, each will receive as much as a $95 check as compensation.

Now, some might wonder if the punishment fits the crime in this case; while others, in the same fashion, might simply chuckle at the mere thought of people spending five years of their lives chasing after a multi-national tech-titan such as Apple, relentless in their pursuit of $95 apiece. Still, others might wonder if Apple’s retail environment is even as hostile of a place to work as the plaintiffs in this case made it out to be, especially considering the “executive treatment” that Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores, Angela Ahrendts, claimed that each employee receives in her exclusive, sit-down interview with Fast Company earlier this year.

Apple, for its part, has yet to make an official comment on this case, or the outcome thereof, for the matter — however, we don’t particularly think the judgment handed down here is going to affect Apple’s bottom line in any major way, especially after that comfortable $42.4 billion earnings report just came in, right?

Do you think Apple’s retail employees are treated fairly? Let us know in the comments!

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