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Staffing Firm, Apple Accused of Stiffing Help

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - High-tech staffing firm Systems Integration Solutions - which supplies foreign consultants to high-profile clients like Apple - stiffs its workers for wages and breaks, a class action filed Wednesday in Alameda County court claims.

Chao Xu represents a class of foreign consultants and is suing SIS and Apple for a litany of labor code violations, including unpaid overtime, minimum wage, failure to pay wages owed, meal and rest breaks and inaccurate wage statements, as well as unfair business practices and competition.

Xu says he worked for SIS for about seven months in 2013. The company assigned him to work for Apple as a software engineer and consultant, for $100 per hour.

According to the complaint, Xu and other foreign workers like him are employed by SIS and furnished to tech companies - like Apple - on a temporary basis. But while SIS charges Apple for its staffing services and then pays the workers, the company only pays for hours approved by their clients, Xu says in the complaint.

The workers regularly worked more than the number of approved hours - often more than eight hours a day and 40 hours a week - but received nothing beyond what Apple approved in advance, Xu's complaint states.

"SIS monitors closely the performance of plaintiff and other class members and knows, or should know, how many hours plaintiff and other class members are regularly working during the class period," the complaint states.

Similarly, "Apple knows, or should know, how many hours plaintiff and other subclass members are regularly working during the class period because subclass members perform work for Apple in Apple's offices, log on to Apple's computer systems in order to perform work, and receive work instructions and directions from Apple personnel," Xu says in the complaint.

Apple and SIS also regularly scheduled the consultants to work without the required meal and rest breaks - even in cases where the engineers worked over 10 hours a day, according to the complaint.

And SIS issued wage statements that did not contain the total number of hours the consultants worked, gross and net wages earned or accurate hourly rates of pay, Xu says.

In addition to class certification, Xu seeks compensatory and liquidated damages, civil penalties and restitution from SIS and Apple. He also wants the court to permanently bar the companies from violating labor code and unfair competition laws.

Xu is represented by Katherine Chao of San Francisco.

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