A new report by Financial Times blasts Apple’s HR department for mishandling serious misconduct allegations reported by female employees, even sexual assault. The company’s HR is also accused of retaliating against the person raising the complaint.
The publisher interviewed 15 former and current female employees at Apple across seven departments in 6 U.S. states. Disappointed by the tech company’s apathy towards misconduct complaints, seven women said Apple’s HR is counterproductive and eight women said they faced retaliation.
Apple HR manager compared a female employee’s sexual assault to “a minor traffic accident”
Out of fifteen women, Megan Mohr reported a very serious misconduct allegation of sexual assault by a colleague.
Megan Mohr was five years into her Apple career when, in 2013, a male colleague took advantage of her after a platonic night out drinking together.
After the colleague drove her home and helped her inside, she briefly fell asleep before waking to the sound of clicking. The colleague had removed her shirt and bra. He was snapping photos, and grinning.
Since the unfortunate incident took place outside work, HR not only refused to start an inquiry or take an action against her assaulter, it equated her experience to “a minor traffic accident”. The report states:
The HR representative displayed little empathy or experience dealing with sexual misconduct. He analogised her experience to “a minor traffic accident” to explain how Apple couldn’t really get involved.
“Although what he did was reprehensible as a person and potentially criminal, as an Apple employee he hasn’t violated any policy in the context of his Apple work,” HR wrote. “And because he hasn’t violated any policy we will not prevent him seeking employment opportunities that are aligned with his goals and interests” […]
“Unfortunately the incident wasn’t in the context of Apple work [so] it’s very likely that an Apple investigation would have returned ‘no findings’ and no discipline would be issued. Even if the offender would have admitted to taking the images.”
This is not the first time, Apple employees, especially female employees, have complained about HR’s indifference to their complaints of discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment. The #AppleToo Movement brought forward several similar stories of abuse at the hands of colleagues and customers but to no avail. All conclude that Apple HR ignores serious misconduct complaints.
A former female technical engineer at Apple, Anita Nariani Schulze said she was forced to resign from the job in 2019 after bearing years of biased treatment by her senior and direct managers. In March 2021, she filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company accusing her managers of treating her like a subservient despite having positive performance evaluations and significant team contributions.