15 employees accused Apple of ignoring harassment complaints

Juliette Morgan
15 employees accused Apple of ignoring harassment complaints

15 women who work or have previously worked at Apple accuse the company of inaction on their complaints of harassment by colleagues. The editors of the Financial Times studied the correspondence of employees with HR and made sure that the company's human resources department did not really take any action in response to complaints.

One of the women told the publication her story. A male colleague, after a friendly meeting in a bar, took her home, she dozed off in the apartment, and woke up from the sound of a camera: it turned out that a man, taking off her shirt and bra, was taking a photo. The employee decided to inform management about this incident only five years later, when the MeToo movement became more active. She had no evidence and she did not demand to punish the offender, but only asked that they not be transferred to the same department. The HR employee replied that although the man acted "reprehensibly and potentially criminally," he did not violate any corporate rules, and therefore there was no reason to "deprive him of any employment opportunities."

Another girl complained about a co-worker who sent her obscene messages during work hours, and about a manager who started bullying after she took a leave of absence to be with her dying father. Management did not help, only offered to sign a contract: a lump sum payment for "emotional stress" with the condition that she waive her claims to the company.

Another girl, a consultant at the Apple store in New York, claims that she was sexually harassed twice in the team and was even raped by a colleague who drove her home from work. According to the girl, the HR department conducted only a "superficial investigation", while asking her "a lot of questions on sensitive topics", but did nothing - they did not even let her transfer to another store. Whether she went to the police, the publication does not say.

Some of the women in the Financial Times article say they left as a result of the incidents described, because after a complaint to the personnel department, their relationship with the team worsened. In total, six out of 15 employees left the company. At the request of the publication, Apple representatives gave the following comment:

Some of the actions mentioned are not in line with company policy and goals, and we really should have treated them differently. We will make changes to the training process for our employees.

The company assured that they are trying to "create an environment in which employees will feel comfortable reporting violations of any kind."

I wish Apple was the company it pretends to be to its customers

- says one of the heroines of the article, who left the corporation "due to bureaucracy, a culture of secrecy and a lack of career opportunities for women."

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