Paris Kills Late Nights for Apple Staff

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Apple can't make its Paris store employees work past 9PM, and to back that up a Paris court has ordered the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker to pay €10,000 fine to unions for working its staff after closing their stores at night. The fine came as part of a lawsuit brought by labor unions, and Apple faces €50,000 fines if employees keep working after 9PM.

France to Apple: No late nights in your storesFrance to Apple: No late nights in your stores

The labor unions filed their lawsuit because Apple routinely keeps retail staff on the clock after closing to clean the stores and wrap up end-of-day duties -- a practice that's common in the retail market. French laws, however, say that employees can work between 9PM and 6AM only if companies can show that their late night jobs are necessary for social services or to keep economic activity operating, according to AFP. In Apple's case, its stores close at 9PM, but employees sometimes work as late as 11PM.

Union representatives said the lawsuit was filed because they wanted Apple to respect French laws.

Since stores need to be cleaned, sales totaled and bank deposits processed, Apple's Paris employees will have to find ways to handle those tasks during regular working hours, close earlier to avoid the 9PM work cutoff, or face more fines.

[Thanks to The Verge for the heads up]

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It's important for Apple to respect labor laws in every country it has stores, but expecting to have your staff out the door at 9PM seems a little over the top -- at least by U.S. standards.

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How do other stores handle this in France? Does everyone close at 8pm to give employees an hour for the admin/cleanup tasks?


Every time I closed a store we had to clear out the cash register, clean up, and lock up.
That always took a bit of time… and we always had to let everyone in the store who came in before the doors were locked finish what they were doing. Some people doddle for a very long time.


How can it be any hardship at all for Apple stores to do all their daily cleaning & inventory management between 6:00 a.m. and opening hour (? 10:00 a.m.?).

This surely cannot comprise any problem for Apple whatsoever - (perhaps just a problem for any rigidly ethnocentric American expat employees there).


What I’m suggesting:
- between 10:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m: SELL SELL SELL. 
- at 8:30 p.m, warn the customers they must leave before 8:30 p.m, and wind down all ongoing transactions.  Managers will start triaging the upcoming store-closing exigencies.
- at 9:00 p.m, all customers out. All employees out.  Managers (non-union staff) will lockdown & physically secure the cash registers, without doing any reconciling & closing out of cash in them. and then lock down the store.
- at 6:00 a.m, everything that is normally done in an American store at closing time (e.g. clearing out the cash registers, cleaning up, restocking, &c.) is done, until the store opens at 10:00 a.m.


My solution: keep the doors open to customers as long as employees are there “to keep economic activity operating”.  Butt double the prices after 9pm, or just sell gum, while the employees are doing their end of day tasks.


Ridiculous stupidity. You can’t open up early either because that would be a violation as well. I don’t know how they do business there at all. It sounds like the Apple store will have to close as early as 7PM in order to cleanup and get organized for the next day so they don’t violate there stupidity.


I don’t see why Apple should be the exception to the rule.  How do other retail shops in France handle it?  It’s ignorant to think that Apple (or any other US company) can apply US labor practices in France.  Accept it, deal with it, and move on.  If that means closing the store an hour early so be it.  Is it really that hard?

As a consumer, I like the US way of always have things open for business at later (if not 24-hour) times.  It’s great.  On the flip side, when I lived in Europe, I liked that everything shut down early because they want people to spend more time with their families, etc.  I just adapted.


“By U.S. standards” means something in a lot of areas, but not so much when it comes to labor practices.


Just do what everyone else does eventually anyway. Leave France. Customers in France can make their purchases across the border in a civilized country or order from internet.


It shouldn’t be difficult. There’s more than one person working there, right? So by 8:30 or so, have one person tally up the bulk of the sales and collect the cash. Have others start cleaning up the shelves. Cleaning the floor and such can be done in the morning prior to opening. Start closing the store to new people by 8:40. Restaurants do that: they don’t seat anyone after 9:30 (for a 10PM close), but won’t kick out the people who are still there, even if they linger on slightly after 10pm. 11pm, all right they have to go.


It’s usually a good idea to follow the customs and laws in the country in which you find yourself. Like sflocal wrote, you just adapt.  In the US, many people are so used to being taken advantage of, that they can’t even imagine another way. Or even consider that there may be advantages for the employees by using different methods or concepts. Being rigid & inflexible is not a good quality. Not even in the military or law enforcement.

Bart B

Staff out by 9pm OTT?

Americans really don’t understand what a healthy work-life balance is. From someone sitting on this side of the pond your your TMO spin sounds a little OTT smile

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