Apple to pay 50,000€ for keeping employees working 1 hour after closing in France

Apple to pay 50,000€ for keeping employees working 1 hour after closing in France

Photo via The Verge

A Paris court ruled today that 7 Apple Stores, which formally were open until 10:00PM, must close at 9:00PM, as per French law. In the official statement, the court ruled a “ban on Apple France from having salaried employees work between 9:00PM and 6:00AM,” with a penalty of 50,000€ to be imposed in the case of infraction. In addition, for the 7 Apple stores which had been staying open until 10:0PM, Apple France is being forced to pay employee unions up to 10,000€, based on damage and interest.

In France, retail stores are strictly regulated – opening hours, closing hours, the two official sales periods (like the rest of Europe) – in France in particular, graveyard shift employees can only be hired when it is necessary for the continuation of business. Union representative Thomas Bordage pointed out that some retail stores are allowed to keep (some) staff working until up to 11:00PM, “enough time to get everything in order for the next day.”

Apple employees at the Opera store on New Years Eve were attacked in a robbery after closing hours, with more than 300,000€ worth of goods & cash stolen over the course of 45 minutes. While it’s not sure whether this is related to Apple’s decision to keep stores open later, and employees working later, it’s safe to say that this strict form of regulation has no place in an economy with 10% unemployment. Eliminating one hour of work across 7 stores is akin to getting rid of one employee.

Challenges reports that the number of Union cases against retail stores about ‘abnormal work hours’ have multiplied since 2009, harkening back a bit to what the Titan CEO said about the French Goodyear factory last month, in regards to the fact that working in France means working against unions and government.

Another ruling on the matter will take place in April

9 Responses

  1. menilman

    Hey Mr Booger from Menlo Parks (lol, it’s Park, not Parks, change your bio)
    How is eliminating one hour of work akin to getting rid of one employee??
    All the employees are needed at their designated time slots.

    ex: 6 workers are needed from 13h-21h; shaving an hour off those workers doesn’t make any of them get laid off. They’ll lose an hour of pay, yes, but they’ll all still be employed.

    And you’re saying deregulation is the answer to high unemployment? Putting aside your horrible math skills, look at the work pay and conditions of people in your alleged home state of CA, and the USA in general. Unemployment is nearly as high, and few have any protection whatsoever.

    • LiamBoogar

      That’s a pretty aggressive comment.

      I’ll try to use my horrible math skills to explain the way a business & a government assess this news:

      let’s take your 6 employees, who have now “lost 1 hour of work” at an Apple Store. Go ahead and multiply that by 6 for each day that the store is open, and you now have 36 hours of work per week that have been removed, the equivalent of one full-time worker.

      You see it as “each person getting less work,” but as a business-owner, that’s not how it works. You adjust your work schedule to work based on the number of work hours you have to fill, and if suddenly you have 36 hours of work per week that don’t need to be filled, you work your schedule around and make the schedule work with one less person.

      You can’t take away 5 hours of work from each employee per week – that’s not how work goes. Instead, everyone keeps the same amount of hours, except the one employee who gets let go because his job has been legally removed by the court.

      And so, you’re right – it’s not 1 employee – it’s 7. One for each of the stores.

    • menilman

      With your logic, when Jospin instituted the 35 hour work week, then unemployment must’ve skyrocketed. It didn’t.
      Yes, businesses found the RTT loophole and had “cadres” work for monthly salary, thus some still worked at least 40 hours/week, but others DID get knocked down to 35 hours from 40 (I think? Or 39? 41?) yet we didn’t see a spike in unemployment.
      Still waiting for your stronger arguments on deregulating the labor laws.

    • menilman

      You also need to adjust your schedule to the demand. If an Apple store knows they’re gong to need a certain number of workers on the floor at any given time, they’re not going to cut that number back.

      So no, as a former restaurant owner in Cali, I can tell you no smart business, big or small, is going to reduce they’re staff if they know that doing so would result in unhappy customers.
      And I’m pretty sure Apple isn’t a stupid company.

      Now, go into small poorly run restaurant in a business area, with customers on a tight lunch schedule and NOT ENOUGH servers running around not getting orders in on time, and tell me if that place will be under the same management 6 months from now.

  2. Femme Ménage

    French law is very very… hard to respect. Labor law is bigger than Bible. Employee unions came from the 19th century. Bienvenue en France à Apple!

    • menilman

      Yes, unskilled labor work was so much better before unions came along, lol. You crack me up.
      Unless I’m misreading you, you disdain Americans for what you call puritanicalism, you complain about not being able to smoke where you want anymore, in the US and France, yet you adore certain American films like There Will be Blood, leaving the cinema remarking how horribly capitalistic we (Americans) are how and how enlightened you are.
      Make up your mind!!

  3. davidbruant

    Sorry for this completely diverging comment in advance.

    “an economy with 10% unemployment”
    => Considering the bigger picture (“jobs are never coming back” [1]), I think we should stop using “unemployment” or “loosing jobs” or “growth” as arguments.
    Western societies have progressed to a point where it’s not necessary for everyone to work. The work of one person can feed hundreds if not thousands, computers are much more effective at most information-related jobs and quickly replace humans (these low-memory, error-prone, need-to-sleep-a-3rd-of-the-day devices)

    Only politicians need to maintain the hope that one day, everyone in the society will have a job.

    I was talking about the future (and how we should act to accept this future). Back to the present and France, French legislation is too strong, but that’s the one we have. Apple should comply or lobby to get the legislation changed or pay the fine. Any other attitude would be meaningless.


  4. Benjamin ANDRE

    ” it’s safe to say that this strict form of regulation has no place in an economy with 10% unemployment.”

    What an assertion. I’ll try to make the same for the US :

    “because of the strict US laws, 0,9 % of the resident population is in jail (the highest documented rate in the world, 0,1% in france). It means that 2.3 millions of people were prevented of working and cost a lot of money to the economy. It’s safe to say that this form of regulation has no place in an economy with 16.7% of the population without health insurance and where child poverty reached record high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels.”

    As you can see, that this kind of assertion, extracting figures out of any context, is “pervert”.

    The funy thing is that I agree that we have too strict regulations. But this kind of deregulation will mainly profit to big companies by giving them an unfair advantage against small teams that can not be organized to cover such wide hours of work.

    Should we help in priotity small or big componies in France ? I think we agree on the answer 🙂

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