- A group of Apple employees has created a group, #AppleToo, and published Monday a set of five employee stories detailing instances of harassment and discrimination at the technology company.
- The first story, written by a retail employee based in the U.K., described the presence of racial bias during an interview for a lead role as well as employees "struggling with identity and having leadership not just take our concerns about bias (racism and micro aggressions) seriously but actually action them." Another described instances of sexual harassment by a co-worker.
- Each of the authors brought their concerns to Apple's management and HR team, #AppleToo said, but the company did not act on or address them. Apple did not immediately respond to an HR Dive request for comment.
Pressure is mounting at several large companies to address instances of harassment and discrimination — with a common complaint being that HR and management teams are not taking workers' concerns seriously — and Apple is the latest to face such critiques.
The stories are only a fraction of what #AppleToo has collected, according to a Twitter account associated with the group. The account said in a Aug. 27 post that #AppleToo received "nearly 500 responses" and "hundreds of stories" documenting instances of racism, sexism, discrimination and other forms of harassment. Many complained of being ignored by Apple's HR team, the account added.
So far, we've received nearly 500 responses, and hundreds of stories of racism, sexism, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, sexual and other forms of harassment, and sexual assault that happened at the hands of a colleague off of campus.— Apple Workers #AppleToo (@AppleLaborers) August 27, 2021
The main thread? Being ignored by HR.
The news comes roughly one month after a lawsuit in Apple's home state of California, in which the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing made several claims involving discrimination and harassment at video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The suit prompted Activision Blizzard employees to walk out and sparked even broader backlash in the gaming industry.
California's suit notably alleged that Activision Blizzard's HR department and leadership team failed to take action to address employee complaints and did not keep certain complaints confidential. Sources who spoke to HR Dive earlier this month highlighted the allegations as an example of an HR department that enabled an environment of routine harassment.
While the situation at Apple is still fluid, an employee who is part of the #AppleToo group confirmed in a Sept. 1 tweet that the group had contacted the National Labor Relations Board "about the concerted activity suppression I have been talking about for a month." The group also has opened an online pay transparency survey that it said seeks to provide more knowledge about Apple's pay bands.