The U.S. Labor Department (LRD) has launched a whistleblower retaliation investigation against Apple. Financial Times reports that the former Apple’s software engineer Ashley Gjovik received a confirmation letter of the inquiry.
In August this year, Gjovik came into the spotlight when she publically shared that the employee relations team at Apple had put her on an indefinite paid leave after her allegation of experiencing sexism at the workplace and for sharing issue on Twitter, the company revoked her access to company’s Slack channels.
Gjovik worked with other dissatisfied employees to organize the #AppleToo movement to hold the company accountable by highlighting stories of emotional, sexual, and racial abuse at the company. However, soon after, her contract was terminated with immediate effect in September when she refused to attend a meeting on a “sensitive Intellectual Property matter” in person.
U.S. National Labor Department launches investigation against Apple over the complaint filed by former engineer Ashley Gjovik
Prior to termination, Ashley Gjovik filed a complaint at the U.S. National Labor Department stating that she face harassment by a manager, and after raising concerns of sexism, her responsibilities were reduced and she was given unfavorable work. “Apple Engaged in coercive and suppressive activity that has enabled abuse and harassment of organizers of protected concerted activity.”
Now, the agency has launched a formal investigation based on that complaint. LRD investigates all charges it receives and launches a prosecution against an employer if it is required.
The U.S. Labor Department did not provide details on the investigation, but Financial Times says that former Apple employee Ashley Gjovik received a December 10 letter from the Labor Department that confirmed the inquiry. Gjovik was fired from Apple in September for allegedly leaking confidential information. FT
Another former employee and organizer of the #AppleToo movement, Cher Scarlett has also refused to withdraw her complaint against the Cupertino tech giant filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Scarlett has accused the company of suppressing discussion on pay equity and forcing employees of staying quiet by making them sign non-disclosure agreements.