Apple Inc. Employment Violations – Dedicated Plaintiff-Side Employment Attorneys
Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple Inc. is one of the largest multi-national companies in the world. Being both a technology company and a major seller of consumer electronics has exposed it to many cases of labor law violations and employment lawsuits. Some of these cases included harassment of female workers while others focused on discrimination and retaliation enforced by the federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). We consistently review reports of wage and hour violations, wrongful terminations, pay disparity, and an environment ripe with racial harassment where white coworkers taunt and disparage minority workers.
Another example is a lawsuit against Apple filed by former and current retail store employees alleging sexual harassment, defamation, wage and hour violations, discrimination, and retaliation. Other claims included a lawsuit by one of Apple’s own in-house attorneys for age discrimination and gender discrimination when she faced constant harassment over two years while working for the company.
Over the last several years, we have noticed an uptick in the number of employment discrimination lawsuits against California companies that include pregnancy discrimination, religious discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, disability discrimination, gender discrimination and age discrimination. Most lawsuits settle which explains why they do not hit the news media outlets. However, rest assured that California employers unfortunately continue to allow their management to violate the Equal Pay Act, Unfair Competition Laws, hiring laws, anti-harassment laws, and other anti-retaliation laws.
Is California’s Litigation Process More Favorable to Employee Plaintiffs?
Many would argue that it is more favorable. Employers may not be aware of some of the procedural rules that are favorable to employee litigants until they are sued. However, knowing these differences before litigation arises can help manage litigation and control costs. Some of the ways in which California state law favors employee litigants are discussed below.
Longer Statute of Limitations for Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Claims
With the enactment of A.B. 9, effective January 1, 2020, the statute of limitations to file an administrative claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) is extended to three years (formerly one year), whereas under Title VII, it is only 180 days (extended to 300 days if covered by state or local anti-discrimination laws enforceable by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”)) (compare Cal. Gov’t Code § 12960(d) with 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(e)(1)). If a right to sue letter is issued, under federal law, the charging party has 90 days from receipt of the notice to file an action, whereas in California, the charging party has one year to file a civil action (compare Cal. Gov’t Code § 12965(b) with 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1)).
Because four years can pass between the alleged wrongful conduct toward an employee and the employee filing a civil lawsuit, California employers may be disadvantaged by poor witness memory, employees who have changed positions or left the company and are less willing to help in defense of a lawsuit, or spoiled evidence.
Differences between FLSA Collective Actions and State Class Actions
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), wage and hour collective actions are opt-in, meaning potential employee plaintiffs must affirmatively join the action (29 U.S.C. § 216(b)). However, class action lawsuits brought under California law are opt-out, meaning a category of workers can be defined and all employees in the group are included unless they take action to opt out. In addition, California employee plaintiffs may cite the state’s Unfair Competition Law, increasing the statute of limitations for wage and hour laws from three to four years (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200). For this reason and other procedural differences, more class actions are brought in California courts than in federal courts.
In addition to traditional class actions, California employees are authorized to bring a representative action under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) “on behalf of himself or herself and other current or former employees” to recover civil penalties for Labor Code violations (so-called bounty hunter lawsuits), without meeting class action requirements. This opens up another avenue for high-damage wage and hour suits.
If you are a former or current employee at Apple Inc., please be aware that there have been many recent settlements holding the company accountable for a culture filled with bias, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and intimidation. We continually receive reports of rampant hostile work environment and unlawful wage disparity. Stephen Danz and Associates’ employment attorneys handle cases solely on behalf of local employees who have experienced labor law violations such as discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and retaliation. Our experienced and dedicated attorneys understand the client needs to protect his or her rights and income as well as the ability to continue to work. When you trust us with your case, we represent you and your interests with confidence and transparency. Our reputation speaks for itself as we tirelessly work to represent your employment interests so that your professional and financial futures are protected.
We devote our practice to fighting for workers’ rights. Employment law in California is a specialized area and cases are hard-fought. Therefore, having the one of the largest employee-side law firms on your side is critical. If you are in California and searching for attorneys that are both experienced and aggressive, look no further and contact one of our offices. When encountering discrimination, wrongful termination, or retaliation in the workplace, many California employees have turned to our attorneys for guidance. In turn, we represent employees throughout California in their fight against employers that have taken advantage of their upper hand. Our attorneys cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape.