Apple has had a rough several months; first they lost their founder Steve Jobs back in October, and this summer they have been catching heat for their treatment of employees overseas. A New York-based group that advocates worker’s rights, China Labor Watch, went as far as to accuse the tech-mogul of running sweatshops.
Investigations have been performed in Apple’s factories and plants in the East and it was found that some employees were working as much as 180 overtime hours in one month, according to a Reuters article.
The article went on to explain that the group recently released a 133-page report unveiling these injustices. China Labor Watch found that in addition to the hours, many workers were not given their required-by-law health coverage and were forced to work in hazardous conditions.
Unfortunately for workers in China, labor laws are not taken as seriously as they are in the United States and are not enforced as often. According to the Reuters article, labor unions are not even that effective on gaining workers’ rights.
California labor laws overtime section states that all nonexempt employees are compensated at an increased rate for all hours worked that are over eight in one day or 40 in one week. The law explains that an employee will receive 1 and 1/2 times their regular pay rate for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a week or eight in one day. The overtime rate then increases to two times their normal pay when they work in excess of 12 hours in one day or for all hours above eight if it is the employee’s seventh-consecutive day of work.
While Apple has asserted that they are monitoring the situation and have been looking into the hours of its more than 700,000 employees, the situation will continue to unveil. Employees of any industry, business, or trade deserve a certain level of treatment as described by law, and when there are not those willing to speak out against unfair treatment who really loses?
A California labor laws overtime specialist would be able to inform an employee if they feel their labor rights have been violated. There are often feelings of fear when it comes to speaking about unfair treatment in the workplace. Many are afraid they will lose their job and, especially in this economy, no one wants that. Luckily, there are legal protections against retaliation by employers and lawyers out there that can help you recover the money that is due to you for all of your hard work.
- Photo credit
Mercedes Potter is an elite writer discussing recent labor law issues. She encourages employees and employers to educate themselves on labor laws and to seek legal counsil if and when the rules are not adhered to. Follow her @CedesPotter.