A Paris court this week banned seven French Apple Stores from forcing employees to work night shifts, in response to a complaint filed by a group of national labor unions. As the AFP reports, the court also ordered Apple to pay €10,000 in damages to the unions who filed the suit, stating that the company would face an additional fine of €50,000 for every subsequent infraction.
According to French labor laws, companies can only require employees to work between the hours of 9PM and 6AM if they prove that doing so is necessary to maintain economic activity or to provide social services. The Apple Stores in question — including the outlet at l'Opéra in Paris — all officially close their doors at 9PM, but employees are often required to stay as late as 11PM in order to shut down and clean the facilities.
"We are asking only that the law be respected."
The CFTC, one of the six unions that filed the suit, hailed Tuesday's decision as a "severe condamnation" of the practices in place at French Apple stores, telling the AFP that it underscores the court's determination to respect the laws governing night employment. "We are asking only that the law be respected," added Thomas Bordage of the labor union SUD.
A higher court in France is expected to hand down another decision on this case on April 16th.