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Apple Call Center Workers File Class Action Lawsuit
By Mike Holter
A class action lawsuit is accusing Apple of labor law violations by making its customer service and technical support call center workers pay for their own training, business expenses, taxes, Medicare and unemployment insurance.
According to the Apple call center worker class action lawsuit, Apple shifts these labor costs to its workers by using “Yellow Dog Contracts” that classify its call center workers as “independent contractors” as part of a scheme to defraud them and the federal and state governments.
A “Yellow Dog Contract” is a term used to describe an agreement by an employer and employee in which the employee agrees, as a condition of employment, not to be a member of a labor union. The Apple call center employee class action lawsuit claims Apple applies these same principals to their employee contracts by requiring its call center employees, as a condition of employment, to form a shell corporation “so that Apple can avoid paying their business related expenses” and argue that their call center employees “cannot enforce their rights as employees.”
Apple even goes so far as to distance itself from its call center employees by using another company, Arise Virtual Solutions, to act as the hiring agency for Apple as part of the alleged scheme. However, this attempt is “transparent” in that neither Arise nor the employees have any control over the work they do. Apple provides the approved script for calls, order forms, and report format, and even provides the training materials to Arise free of charge — even though Arise charges the Apple call center workers for the cost of training.
The Apple call center worker class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of all Apple employees who were paid directly or indirectly by Apple to provide customer service and technical support by handling inbound customer calls from Apple customers; who performed this work for Apple away from Apple offices; and who were classified as an independent contractor at any time within the past four years.
It is seeking back pay, back expenses and all money unlawfully withheld from Class Members’ compensation due to their misclassification.
A copy of the Apple Call Center Worker Class Action Lawsuit
can be read here
The case is Jason Hilton v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 11-cv-214597, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara.
Updated December 13th, 2011
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