In France, the proletariat is not a force to be trifled with. There are expectations on how companies are to treat workers: whether there are enough golden crusted, freshly baked baguettes in the breakroom, for example, or how many fromage breaks one gets per hour. “Vive les grenouilles!” the workers cry, sousing themselves silly with wine.
It’s a good system, but Apple has fallen afoul of it, with seven Apple Stores in France now being rapped on the knuckles for violating a French law that prohibits employers from making their workers work past nine PM at night.
After complaints were lodged against Apple by various labor unions, a court in Paris has now fined Apple10,000 euros for making workers man the Genius Bar until late at night.
In France, you see, you can only ask workers to clock in from 7 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Make employees work later than that, and you need a good excuse (an upcoming product launch, for example).
In Apple’s case, the Apple Stores in question were accused of regularly making workers stay until as late as 11:00 p.m. at night to prepare for the next day. Apple claimed it was “unusual” but the courts disagreed.
The Apple Stores in question dinged for the offense were: l’Opera in Paris, Parly 2 in Le Chesnay, Carre Senart in Lieusaint, Val d’Europe in Marne-la-Vallee, Cape Town 3000 in Nice, and Atlantis in Saint Herblain.
10,000 Euros is nothing to Apple, of course, but if Apple does it again, they’ll have to pay a lot more, up to an additional 50,000 Euros.