According to several women, its corporate culture is at odds with the image it projects.
According to a lengthy article in The Financial Times, Apple has aggressively punished against staff members who complained about coworkers, including those who reported instances of sexual assault, and has promoted a culture of indifference to accusations of employee wrongdoing. If true, the charges contradict Apple’s portrayal of inclusivity and diminish the actual strides the company has made toward increasing staff diversity.
Numerous women spoke of reporting sexual assault, bullying, and other problems to Apple’s human resources division. Megan Mohr, a former employee, said that after a platonic night out, a coworker undressed her and took photos of her while she slept. The HR representative, however, described the incident as “a little road mishap.”
Although what he did was abhorrent as a person and maybe illegal, Apple’s HR staff said in an email obtained by FT that he had not broken any company rules while performing his job at the company. And because he hasn’t broken any rules, we won’t stop him from looking for jobs that fit with his objectives and interests.
An Apple Store Genius employee said she was the victim of two significant sexual assaults, including a rape, and claimed HR didn’t treat her like a victim, but rather like the issue. I was informed that the claimed perpetrator took a six-month “professional experience,” and they suggested that you could feel better by the time he returns. She asked to be transferred, but it was denied, therefore she is still employed by the same company.
IP lawyer Margaret Anderson said a male vice-president sought to terminate her based on untrue charges that were made before she joined Apple. She also complained of a “toxic work atmosphere” and “gas lighting.” She allegedly ignored a document she wrote disputing the claims by HR.
The suppression of worker organizing by Apple and the shutting of Slack channels used by employees to voice complaints about poor managers and pay fairness have also drawn criticism from the workforce. Cher Scarlett, a software developer, claimed that Apple retaliated against her when she complained to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Her refusal to accept the $213,000 severance payout from the corporation was due to Apple’s demand that she turn over a letter that had been sent to the NLRB and contained the names of other employees.
When Apple dropped the demand, she agreed to the settlement, but she was obliged to drop the NLRB case. But when Apple wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stating that it “supports the rights of its workers and contractors to speak freely,” she wilfully violated the agreement. After Scarlett revealed her exit strategy to the media, eight US state treasurers requested an investigation by the SEC into “whether or not Apple misled the Commission and investors.”
The most well-known complaint came from Apple’s legal department chief Jayne Whitt. She reported to HR that a coworker had threatened to kill her and had hacked her gadgets in the hopes that her complaint would be taken seriously.
Whitt “failed to act in a professional and job acceptable manner” during their meeting, the employee investigation division claimed, rather, the FT reported, at a time when Whitt “said she was begging for help and reliving trauma.”
She then wrote a 2,800 word essay on the incident for the whistleblower website The Lioness, which resulted in an outpouring of sympathy from Apple staff. She then claimed that Apple fired her because of a “irrelevant” six-year-old transgression.
Whitt claimed the Slack forums on gender-pay disparity helped open her eyes and that she is currently suing Apple. She said, “I was in a difficult position; this is how women battle. “I wouldn’t have felt pressured to do the right thing, to ruin my career, if these stories [on Slack] hadn’t been coming out.”
Apple said in a statement to The Financial Times that it works hard to carefully look into any complaints of wrongdoing and aims to establish “an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable reporting any difficulties.” It admitted that those ideals weren’t always met, though. “Several allegations have been made that do not align with our aims or policies, and we need to have handled them better, including several of the interactions covered in this article. We will alter our training and procedures as a result.” Because of “respect for the privacy of the persons affected,” it will not comment on specific instances.