U.S. labor agency investigating Apple worker complaints

Two high-profile cases are being investigated.

What you need to know

  • Two Apple employees have made high-profile and public complaints about conditions at Apple.
  • Complaints made by Ashley Gjovik and Cher Scarlett are now being investigated by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.
  • The complaints include stories of harassment and the supression of workers trying to conduct pay surveys

Two Apple employees who have publicly and vocally criticized the company over their treatment are having their complaints investigated by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

Ashley Gjovik and Cher Scarlett have reportedly both filed complaints that are now being investigated, according to Reuters:

Ashley Gjovik, a senior engineering program manager at Apple, told Reuters that she filed the Aug. 26 charge, which cites harassment by a manager, reduction of responsibilities and increases in unfavorable work, among other complaints.

The Sept. 1 charge was filed by Cher Scarlett, an Apple software engineer who said the company repeatedly stopped discussions of pay among employees.

Gjovik and Scarlett have made their complaints public previously. Gjovik was placed on leave by Apple after raising concerns about sexism in the workplace, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, and retaliation. Meanwhile Scarlett went public about her attempts to organize an internal Apple survey regarding pay, and has since help start the #AppleToo movement, which has received hundreds of complaints regarding treatment of staff within the company.

Reuters reports that the agency investigates all charges it receives and can launch prosecutions if it thinks they have merit.

Scarlett’s complaint was reportedly filed after Apple shut down an internal Slack channel dedicated to pay equity, a move she described as the “final straw”. From a report this week:

Apple has blocked an internal employee effort to create a Slack channel to discuss issues of pay inequity.

As reported by The Verge, Apple is saying that the channel would violate the company’s Slack Terms of Use as the reason for not allowing the channel.

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