Apple accused of mishandling sexual harassment issues

The American firm is accused of not having taken seriously acts of harassment reported by fifteen of its employees. Some have even been offered several months’ salary against the promise not to criticize Apple in public and not to launch lawsuits, according to the Financial Times.

Fifteen past and present Apple employees have blamed the Apple brand’s human resources department for not taking them seriously or retaliating against them when they reported harassment, according to the report. FinancialTimes. The British newspaper details in an article Thursday the experiences of these women, based on interviews with them as well as other employees of the group and confidential documents.

They describe “disappointing or counter-productive” reactions from human resources departments, and reprisals in some cases. Apple did not immediately react to a request from AFP, but indicated to the daily that it was investigating these complaints from employees and that it planned to modify its training.

Male culture

In six cases, women who reported harassment were considered bad employees and left the company, says the Financial Times. Some have been offered several months’ salary against the promise not to criticize Apple in public and not to launch lawsuits. Since the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017, many working women in the male-dominated Silicon Valley have spoken out against macho and sexist cultures and behaviors.

One of Apple’s employees quoted by the Financial Times, Megan Mohr, said she was inspired by the movement to decide to report to HR, in 2018, that a colleague had taken off her shirt and had taken her picture. after a drunken evening. But according to the article, the company told him that this behavior, even potentially criminal, did not violate any rules in the context of his work. She ended up quitting after 14 years with the iPhone maker.

Another employee quoted by the newspaper, Jayna Whitt, recounted in a blog how she was reprimanded for letting a personal relationship interfere with her work. Her affair with a lawyer for the group had gone sour, and she had tried to expose his physically and emotionally abusive behavior. Apple employs 165,000 people worldwide.

In 2018, from Singapore to California, thousands of Google employees observed a work stoppage to denounce the management of sexual harassment within the company. This summer, it was employees of the Activision Blizzard studio who mobilized against internal harassment and discrimination. And in December, six women filed a complaint against Tesla, reporting repeated incidents of sexual harassment at the automaker’s California plant, and retaliation against those who complained.

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