Apple Accused of Mishandling Sexual Harassment Claims, Vows To 'Make Changes'

When the victims approached Apple's HR department, they were allegedly met with apathy and even retaliation.

Tech News
2 min read
Edited By :Karan Mahadik

At least 15 female employees, both past and present ones, have accused Apple of mishandling complaints of sexual misconduct, Financial Times reported on Thursday, 4 August.

When they approached Apple's human resources department, internally known as the People Team, they were allegedly met with apathy and even retaliation in some cases.

"There are some accounts raised that do not reflect our intentions or our policies and we should have handled them differently, including certain exchanges reported in this story," Apple told the publication. "As a result, we will make changes to our training and processes," the tech giant added.


Ex-Employees Ignored or Reprimanded: Report

One of the women alleged that a male colleague had removed her shirt and photographed her after a night out drinking together while she was asleep.

She reported this to Apple which acknowledged that the worker's conduct was potentially criminal but took no action since it didn't violate any company policies, the report said.

The woman, who was a fraud prevention specialist with Apple for over a decade, quit her job in January and is now reportedly asking the company to revisit its policies.

Another woman wrote a blog post in which she said that a romantic relationship with a fellow Apple attorney went sour when the man became unstable, violent, and abusive.

When she approached Apple, the company advised her to call the police. She was later reprimanded for allowing a personal relationship to interfere with her work, according to the report.

Yet another ex-employee of the company told the publication that a male colleague constantly sent her sexual messages and that she was allegedly “bullied and harassed” by her manager for going on leave to be with her dying father.

She added that Apple offered her three months of salary, including a lump-sum payment “for alleged emotional distress," if she would agree to not hold Apple accountable.

The women that were interviewed only represent a small fraction of Apple's 1,65,000 employees globally while the iPhone maker has shown determination to empower women, the report mentioned.

Silicon Valley is notorious for its male-dominated culture, which has given rise to multiple instances of alleged sexual harassment.

In July last year, for example, a massive lawsuit was filed against Activision Blizzard by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing for allegedly promoting "a culture of constant sexual harassment."

Tesla, the Elon Musk-led electric car manufacturer, was sued by six women in December as they described a culture of sexual harassment that included unwanted touching, catcalls, and retaliation against those who complained.

(With inputs from Financial Times.)

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Edited By :Karan Mahadik
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