A Primary Organiser of #AppleToo Is Leaving Apple Following Settlement

A Primary Organiser of #AppleToo Is Leaving Apple Following Settlement
Photo: Feline Lim / Stringer, Getty Images

One of the principal organisers of the #AppleToo movement is reportedly set to depart the company on Friday after reaching a settlement with the iPhone-maker over a National Labour Relations Board complaint she filed in September.

During her time as a security engineer at the company, Cher Scarlett became one of 15 primary organisers in the movement to mobilize Apple’s workforce amid growing concern about a culture of “pervasive sexism” and pay equity issues. As more and more employees began speaking up about their negative experiences at Apple, Scarlett played a key role in facilitating the conversation on the company’s Slack channels and on Discord.

As Apple employees attempted to compare notes on the pay disparities they suspected were particularly affecting women and minorities by completing informal surveys, Apple repeatedly stymied those efforts, objecting first to the inclusion of demographic questions that contained personally identifying information and later to the use of the company’s corporate Box account to host the surveys.

Eventually, the company’s efforts to shut down the surveys became the basis of Scarlett’s September 1 NLRB claim, which accused Apple of preventing employees from comparing and discussing salary information, a protected activity.

In the weeks that followed, Apple fired two of the other principle organisers of #AppleToo who had filed their own separate labour board complaints — senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjovik and Apple Maps programmer Janneke Parrish — in what both women said was an attempt to chill employees’ organising efforts (Apple claimed that both employees had been terminated for sharing private company information, an accusation they both denied.)

Scarlett’s lawyer, Alek Felstiner, told Bloomberg News that she had requested a withdrawal of her complaint but declined to give further details on the terms of the settlement.

“The matter was settled privately and the request for withdrawal is pending before the board,” Felstiner said. “We hope the crucial organising work at Apple will continue.”