Apple workers in California can sue as group over meal & rest breaks

Apple workers in California can sue as group over meal & rest breaks

Apple Inc.'s retail and corporate employees in California can now sue the tech giant as a group over claims that they are often devoid of their rights to take meal and rest breaks as required by the Golden State's law, thanks to a new ruling by a state Superior Court judge.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager in San Diego allowed the employees to sue the company as a group, saying it would not be affordable for individuals to proceed on their own due to the small potential recovery for each of them.

Judge Prager also ruled that it would be more professional for Apple employees' claims to be resolved as a group case; rather than as different individual cases.

Pronouncing the judgment, the judge said, "Rather than having over 20,995 separate lawsuits or labor commissioner hearings regarding the same claims alleged in this action, a class action allows all individual actions to be resolved once on behalf of all claimants."

The plaintiffs allege that Cupertino-based Apple has a scheduling policy that makes it extremely difficult for them to take meal and rest breaks. However, the case that affects nearly 20,000 current and former employees of Apple makes no financial demand to the tech giant.

Apple, the maker of iconic iPhone handsets and iPad tablets with a market cap of around $570 billion, is habitual to class action lawsuits. In one employment practices-related case, the Cupertino-based firm along with Google, Adobe and Intel had to pay $324 million to settle claims that these companies conspire to keep high-tech employees' salaries down by refraining from hiring one another's employees.

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