The media know Apple for its secrecy and its employees often do not speak on their work. If they do, they will have to face some sort of sanction if they are caught. However, in a strange twist of events, Apple’s employees are now free to discuss their wages, working hours, and working environment. This is coming from the hierarchy of the company. The company even had to send a reminder to employees that they are free to do this. This move comes at a time when some employees are pushing Apple to take more measures to eliminate unfair pay differences within the company.
Apple posted on the company’s intranet that the company’s policy does not prohibit employees from “freely talking about” the work environment: “We encourage any employee who has doubts about this to raise it in the way he feels most comfortable, both internally and externally.”
Apple’s Code of Business Conduct stipulates that it does not restrict employees from discussing wages, working hours, and working environment. Of course, the U.S. labor law generally protects this. However, Janneke Parrish, a former project manager at Apple, said employees who talked about the matter in recent months have faced resistance.
Parish was fired after taking a leadership position in an employee’s activist activity. She hopes that Apple’s message will save other employees from punishment: “The first step is to make sure that people are aware of their rights.”
Apple refuses to comment on employee issues
Apple will not comment on specific employee issues, the company executive says. However, it restates its commitment to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive work environment”. Silicon Valley workers have recently been actively speaking about their working conditions and the overall impact of technology on society.
Earlier last week, another activist, Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett revealed on Twitter that he had left. Scarlett filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Committee that Apple obstructed dialogue between employees on compensation issues. Her lawyer says that they will drop all charges and settle the issue. There is no official comment from Scarlett on the issue.
Scarlett and Parrish both work for an organization called #AppleToo. Many former and current Apple employees use this to share what they consider to be troublesome and discriminatory.
Many know Apple for its secrecy culture and never reveals the details of new products. Parrish claims that employees sometimes do not realize their right to talk about salary and working environment.
Former senior engineering project manager Ashley Gjovik was fired by Apple in September last year after questioning workplace harassment and safety issues. She also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. She is accusing the company’s policy of violating the National Labor Relations Act.