Report: Apple retaliated against women who complained about wrongdoing | The Paradise News – The Paradise News | Hot Mobile Press

The Financial Times released a detailed report stating that Apple has fostered a culture of apathy toward reports of employee misconduct and has actively taken retaliatory action against employees who have complained about colleagues, including those who have reported incidents of sexual assault. If true, the allegations run counter to the image of inclusivity that Apple is projecting and cast a shadow over the real strides it has made in promoting diversity in its workforce.

Several women described filing complaints with Apple’s human resources department about sexual abuse, bullying and other incidents. Former employee Megan Mohr complained that a co-worker took off her bra and clothes while she slept and took pictures of her after a platonic night. However, the HR rep called the experience “a minor traffic accident.”

“Although what he did was reprehensible as an individual and potentially criminal, as an Apple employee he did not violate any policy related to his work at Apple,” Apple’s human resources department said in an email obtained by FT. “And because he has not violated any policy, we will not prevent him from seeking employment opportunities that align with his goals and interests.”

An Apple Store Genius employee complained about two cases of serious sexual assault, including rape, and said HR treated her as a problem rather than a victim. “I was told [the alleged rapist] went on ‘work experience’ for six months and they said, ‘Maybe you’ll be better when he comes back?’ She applied for a transfer but was denied and she still works in the same shop.

IP attorney Margaret Anderson complained about a “toxic work environment” and “gaslighting” and said a male vice president wanted to fire her, citing false allegations that predated her arrival at Apple. Human resources reportedly ignored a document it had produced to refute the allegations.

Employees have also complained that Apple stifles worker organizing and blocks Slack channels used by employees to complain about bad managers and unequal pay. Software engineer Cher Scarlett said Apple retaliated after filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The company offered her a $213,000 severance package, but she refused to sign it because Apple demanded that she turn over a letter to the NLRB that included the names of other employees.

This is her playbook. Offer me enough money to pay my lawyers and debts and they wanted a list of people to retaliate against. How can I talk about how outrageous this really is?

She accepted the deal when Apple withdrew the claim but was forced to withdraw the NLRB complaint. However, she intentionally broke the agreement when Apple sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying she “supports the right of its employees and contractors to speak freely.” Scarlett then showed the media her exit agreement, leading to eight U.S. Treasurers asking the SEC to investigate “whether or not Apple misled the commission and investors.”

The most notorious complaint came from Jayne Whitt, a director of legal affairs at Apple. She told HR that a colleague had hacked her devices and threatened her life, expecting the complaint to be dealt with seriously. Instead, the staff investigative branch said Whitt “acted unprofessionally and did not work appropriately” during their meeting, at a time when Whitt “said she was begging for help and reliving trauma.” FT wrote.

She then published a 2,800-word essay on the whistleblower platform The lioness to describe the situation, which sparked a wave of support from Apple employees. However, Apple went on to fire her based on what she called an “irrelevant” six-year indiscretion.

Whitt is now challenging Apple legally and said the Slack channels on the gender pay gap helped open her eyes. “I was disadvantaged – that’s how women fight,” she said. “Had these stories [on Slack] If I hadn’t come out, I wouldn’t have been forced to do the right thing, to blow up my career.”

Apple tells The Financial Times in a statement that it works hard to thoroughly investigate allegations of misconduct and strives to “create an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting issues.” However, it acknowledged that it had not always lived up to these ideals. “Some accounts have been reported that do not reflect our intentions or our policies and we should have handled them differently, including certain exchanges reported in this story. As a result, we will make changes to our training and processes.” She declined to comment on specific cases “out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved.”

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