The shine is off another apple

Summary:Techies to Apple: You treat us like indentured servants.In a lawsuit filed Monday that the plaintiff hopes to turn into class-action that could include all staff at retail stores, an Apple employee alleges that the company denied technical staffers overtime pay and other compensations required by state law.

Techies to Apple: You treat us like indentured servants.
In a lawsuit filed Monday that the plaintiff hopes to turn into class-action that could include all staff at retail stores, an Apple employee alleges that the company denied technical staffers overtime pay and other compensations required by state law. The network engineer employed by Apple from 1995 until 2007, David Walsh, says that he spent innumerable evenings and entire weekend on call without any overtime pay, fielding tech support calls that came after 11 p.m.

Furthermore, Walsh says that Apple "intentionally and deliberately created numerous job levels and a multitude of job titles to create the superficial appearance of hundreds of unique jobs, when in fact, these jobs are substantially similar and can be easily grouped together for the purpose of determining whether they are exempt from overtime wages," reads the complaint.

Now raise your hand if you've ever worked in a tech support job that stiffed you on overtime or had you on call at absurd hours. Oh wait, all of you have? Then this means that it probably doesn't surprise you that techies at Sun Microsystems, Electronic Arts, IBM and Dell have pursued similar suits with varying degrees of success.

But what stands out here--to this writer at least--is Apple's name on it. No, this isn't being in the RDF that precludes one from seeing or hearing any evil about shiny Mac products, but about the fact that Apple is such a coveted place to work, it is described in different accounts as "cool," "a dream job," "the holy grail of aesthetic accolade" as well as "a great way to meet chicks." (And these were just the top of search results.)

It sounds instead like another case of employment realities at Workplace Wonderlands--it seems the cooler a workplace is perceived to be, the less hard it has to fight to fill openings, and fewer it has to bait them with--even the legal guarantees of overtime pay and the promise of a few hours off each week.

Topics: Apple, CXO, IT Employment

About

Deb Perelman is a journalist in New York City with a focus on tech and the daily grind. Previously she was a reporter for eWEEK, leading the magazine and Web site's coverage of the issue and trends that affect IT workers.

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