Apple employee says she was fired after leading anti-harassment movement

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An Apple employee who led her colleagues to publicly share cases of harassment and discrimination at the company said Thursday she was fired. Janneke Parrish, head of the Apple program, said the iPhone maker informed her on Thursday that she had been fired for removing material from the company’s equipment while she was under attack. ‘an investigation into the leak of a company town hall to the media. She told Reuters that she denies any leaks.

Parrish said she removed apps with details about her finances and other personal information before turning her devices over to Apple as part of the investigation. Parrish said she believed she was fired for her workplace activism.

“To me, this clearly seems retaliation for my denouncing the abuses that have occurred at my employer, pay equity and, in general, our working conditions,” she said.

Apple said on Friday it was not discussing specific employee issues. Apple has seen other examples of employee unrest recently. Last month, two Apple employees told Reuters they filed a complaint against the company with the National Labor Relations Board. Workers accused Apple of retaliation and halting wage talks among employees, among other allegations.

Apple said it is “deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace” and takes “all concerns” of employees seriously. U.S. law protects the right of employees to openly discuss certain topics, including working conditions, discrimination, and equal pay.

Over the summer, current and former Apple employees began sharing on social media what they said were experiences of harassment and discrimination. Parrish and some colleagues have started posting the stories to social media and a publishing platform in a weekly digest titled “#AppleToo”. Parrish said she was careful to follow company rules and never shared any information she believed was confidential. She said she continued to post the digest “#AppleToo” after being investigated in late September.

“On the contrary, it has made the importance of this work clearer than ever, when Apple’s response to criticism is to launch internal investigations into those it wants to see disappear,” she said. “It’s easier for them to fire people than for them to actually listen.”

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