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Apple Call Center Workers File Class Action Lawsuit

By Mike Holter

 

AppleA 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.

 

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Updated December 13th, 2011

 

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6 Comments

  • Anonymous February 24, 2012

    Yet another instance of Apple trying to avoid paying living wages and benefits to people who support their products. They’ve got over $80 billion in cash, so they shouldn’t be trying to bilk people out of a living wage by trying to turn them into independent contractors that have to pay for their own training. Shame on Apple.

    This isn’t the only instance of them being cheap: now they’ve got a service provider to support iPhones and iPads, but they only pay $10.75/hr to support a very technical product.

    But they’ve got a darker side, too. Here’s a petition someone started that calls for Apple to sever ties with that service provider:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/tim-cook-ceo-cut-all-ties-with-lawbreaking-service-providers

    You should add your name to it and then post the link on your Facebook wall, or email it to your Facebook and Twitter friends so they can add their names and do the same.

  • Anonymous April 6, 2012

    I will sign this petition but a new one should be directed to the company responsible and that is Arise Virtual Solutions. This company has just partnered with Michelle Obama to offer 10,000 more jobs to Military personnel and their spouses. That means letting go existing IBO’s as they are called and probably even lower wages. It is really sad when a company with questionably business practices partners with the Presidents Wife.

  • Anonymous July 23, 2012

    I work for Apple as an independent contractor through Arise. Everything in this lawsuit is absolutely true. However, this lawsuit only addresses a very small fraction of what is going on with Arise. They are intentionally firing people so they can make room for more people who are willing to shell out nearly $300 for the opportunity to work for a so called “world class company.” Arise makes tons of money like this. They are also intentionally not training people properly so they can be prepared to work. Once the performance suffers because of improper training, then they have an excuse to let you go. I recommended friend and family members to this company and ALL of them no longer works for Arise because of the things I just mentioned. I would recommend anyone to stay away from Arise. Choose a work at home company that won’t charge you to work for them.

  • Anonymous August 20, 2012

    I also work for Apple as an independent contractor through Arise.There has been more and more discontent among us over the past few months. My issue is with the required meetings, courses, customer emails and other tasks pertinent to our success at work that are unpaid. I have almost had enough.

  • Anonymous August 22, 2012

    Wooow all of these are True Im contracting for arise with AT&T kca and this pay period my check was only 13 bucks but my metrics had improved. So I don’t get it.

  • Monika January 3, 2013

    My sister Worked for apple. She left her great job at HP in Romania to go over to Apple Ireland in Cork. After only 10 weeks, her and all other employees that were hired the same period were fired citing “it was a business decision”. This was done exactly two weeks before they would have gotten benefits , relocation payment and other benefits.
    Just a few days later the same amount of jobs and the same job titles were advertised as bing vacant. Senior employees told my sister that this is what they do: hire people outside of the country, keep them for just 10weeksand then replace them before any benefits are due. These people then have to return to their countries and have no time and money to complain or sue.my sister and her coworkers were fired one week before Christmas their supervisor was not even there to answer any complaints or questions . She did file a complaint with the Irish labor law office but they’re closed over the holidays and by the time anyone answers her request she needs to be out of the country.
    “Really smart way l du business. Apple”

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