Apple to pay out €10,000 in ban on night shifts for French store staff

Apple to pay out €10,000 in ban on night shifts for French store staff

Summary: A Paris court has decided that Apple Retail France won’t be allowed to have its employees work at night in Apple stores.

TOPICS: Apple, Legal, EU
Apple's Opéra store in Paris is affected by the night working ban. Image: Apple

Staff at a number of Apple stores in Paris are to be spared working at night.

A Paris court on Tuesday issued a ruling stipulating that Apple Retail France - which manages Apple's stores in the country – can no longer ask its employees to work between 9pm and 6am.

The ruling, revealed by the union Sud, follows a case brought by a handful of trade unions and applies to seven stores: one in Nice, one in Paris and the others in its suburbs. The decision shouldn't make a lot of difference to store employees' working day: only one of the seven stores, which lists its closing time as 10pm on the Apple site, looks to have to close earlier.

While Apple declined to comment to ZDNet, it won't appeal the ruling, according to Sud.

Apple has also been ordered to pay €10,000 in damages to the unions that brought the case against it.

Should Apple not comply with the ruling, it will be fined €50,000 for each infringement found. But chances of any infringements seem slim: according to the French website Macgeneration, Apple Retail France had anticipated the ruling and has already asked its managers to modify employees' shifts to prevent them from working past 9pm. Sud is now asking for a thirteenth month of salary in exchange for an agreement covering night labour for specials occasions such as product launches.

This ruling comes after a string of protests against working conditions in France's Apple stores. It peaked at the end of September when Sud called for a strike on the day of the iPhone 5 launch in the country. The strike didn't go ahead, but helped to draw attention to the concerns of Apple store employees. 

Apple will still have to come back to court over the same issue of work schedules: the company is being sued by an employee over night labour; the court's judgement on the dispute is expected to be handed down on 16 April.

Topics: Apple, Legal, EU

Valéry Marchive

About Valéry Marchive

A graduate in networking and databases and an author of several books about Apple gear, Valéry Marchive has been covering the French IT landscape since the late 90s, both for the consumer and enterprise sectors.

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  • Good.

    Absolutely no reason to have any electronics store open 24/7.
    • its not about that...

      its not about 24/7.

      Its that they had to work until 10pm, but they consider past 9pm at night. This whole thing was about making it so the store has to close at 9pm instead of 10pm.. they can't ask anyone to work after 9 even if its just for an hour.
    • Who said 24/7? Ever heard of the midnight stocking shift, or the early

      A.M. unloading shift? Or how about this radical idea? How about letting the employee decide whether or not he wants to work a late shift? Nope. Can't have that. Because he might choose wrong.
      • He might choose wrong

        You know, living in Israel and being an iOS developer, sometimes I bound to decide (on my own) to stay late. No one tells me . But I know I need to stay. So I stay there (sometimes till 11PM or later) and do my job, if it is really needed. Nice law, but when the things need to be done and they aren't done on time , you need to decide to stay. So, on the other hand, what do you think is really good: to be fired,because you didn't do your job or to stay late?
        Maria Davidenko
        • Sometimes it's just called getting the job done

          Employers want reliable people that get the work done. Not getting it done is another headache the boss has to deal with. It's also the difference between a job and a career. A job I punch out and go home. A career I work on both because I love it and because I will advance by being the go-to guy getting things done (assuming you have the presence of mind to know the difference between being taken advantage of and good work ethic).
          • That's it

            Exactly. I'm absolutely agree with you ,but we have a little "but" in this case: you may do it from your own free will, but the result is still the same - you stay there no matter what's your reason. You stay, 'cause you want everything to be perfect or you stay there because you have to stay or you stay there because somebody or even you didn't get the things done,when it was needed or you stay because you was asked to - all of those make you stay later. We have not this ban from stay late in Israel - unfortunately or not. After all, the employee always has the choice.
            Maria Davidenko
        • Contracts

          First point :
          In France, you can get two different contracts.
          * hour based
          * task based.
          In the second one, the goal is to do your job, 3hours per day or 13hours per day, it's your problem but you have to do it.
          In the first one, you have to work X hours per week. And that's it. You cannot do less. You can do more but in this case you're expected to be pay more.

          In the present case, after 9PM the work is consider as night shift, the hour rate is different and need authorization.
          As far as I understood, Apple employee were not pay as night shift and the extra hours were not being taken into account.

          In your specific case, and in my personal case, you're having a task based contract more than an hour based contract.

          Anyway, the trouble is not to have the choice to do it, but can your employer force you?

          Also are you going to be fired because you didn't deliver on time ? Well, in this case, it depends : did you sell your task for 40 hours while really it took you 80 hours to do it ?
          I'm a bit abrupt here, I can understand that you sometimes doesn't have the choice, but in this case, it's should be just exception. If you're always on fire, you're having a big trouble here.
          Frédéric Forjan
          • Hm...

            If they were not paid for extra night hours that's a real problem .

            "Anyway, the trouble is not to have the choice to do it, but can your employer force you? "
            The employers always can force you, they have too much instruments in their hands (in Israel,at least) for it. The real question is whether you're able to protect yourself from it or not. Just for this will be clear: personally I don't see something terrible in staying late on deliver project's deadline or whatever. From time to time. After all for these extra hours I get some extra payment

            "Also are you going to be fired because you didn't deliver on time ?"

            Me not, but it's not so rare in Israel. This is not exception. You may see it at every company. I think we'll hear about it in Apple, since they plan to open their 3-rd R&D center in Tel-Aviv. This is just the way all local companies prefer to work. And I tell you,that the reason of any dismissal absolutely seriously may be the "lack of extra hours"

            "I'm a bit abrupt here, I can understand that you sometimes doesn't have the choice, but in this case, it's should be just exception. "

            It SHOULD be exception. It DOESN'T.

            Well, we're so far away from the article theme,so I want to make my point, that there is a lot of situations, when you're unable to say "NO" to this requirement.
            Maria Davidenko
      • It wouldn't be employee choice

        It would be slavemaster's choice. Maybe even work off the clock.
  • Work curfews

    Work curfews keeping you from working after 9pm? Wow I live in the wrong country.

    Joking aside, are there any 24/7 businesses in these places or do they all close at 9pm?
    • Nope, right country

      But you're not in a union.
  • Good for the French

    The French continue to value their high standard of living and work to actively protect it. Too bad we let ours slip away so that a very small number of people could make enormous amounts of money.
    Sir Name
  • Sad to see how far France has fallen.

    It'll be interesting to see if the socialists or the jihadis win the fight over the carcass of the formerly significant European nation.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Missing details...

    It doesn't really explain the details of the complaint. Note the word SALARY used in there. Was Apple expecting everyone to be in for work by 9:00am and work over a 12 hour day every day? I would complain about that too. If they're paying salary, it means no overtime no matter how many hours they make you work.
  • Welcome to France and rob their bank

    They dont have anyone guarding them at nights - working after 10 pm is prohibited!
  • Working late in France is not illegal

    As has been posted above, it's just that the terms of payment alter and the case was about workers not getting fair reward, under local employment law, for hours worked after 9pm.
    Hardly a big deal when lots of business do the same. "Oh we just need you to finish this off before you go" often doesn't attract overtime premiums unless already agreed.
    I think this is more an indictment of the french labour laws and unions than apple. Will any of the workers receive a share of the 10K awarded to the unions? Are apple the only one's doing this? Of course their not but they are nice and high profile so why wouldn't the unions go after them.
    Little Old Man