Apple found to have violated work rules by US labor Watchdog

Apple Hong Kong store
(Image credit: Apple)

After an investigation lasting a year and a half, the US labor watchdog has found that Apple has broken labor laws on a number of occasions. Two employee's accusations of workplace harassment and suppression of labor organizing have been supported by the watchdog, Bloomberg reports.

Going further, The Financial Times states that the watchdog is recommending that Apple settle the cases with the employees, as is the case with 90% of such actions against other companies. If Apple does not settle, then all it would take to prosecute would be action in front of an NLRB judge.

Big implications

One of the biggest findings is the implications against some top-level executives, including CEO Tim Cook. In September 2021, he sent out an email that read 'People who leak confidential information do not belong here.". This is just one of four charges that alleges that Apple broke the labor law around workers' right to organize.

The right to organize isn't the only hot water that Apple finds itself in, there are also five accusations of harassment from former Apple employees. Three of the charges were escalated by Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett who left the company in November 2021. She had to say of the matter:

"Having a government agency definitively say that this company broke the law in what they did really matters." going on to say "Apple is the biggest company in the world, It’s important we hold them accountable.”

The other two charges were brought forward by Senior Engineering Program Manager Ashley Gjøvik who was fired in September 2021. She spoke to the Financial Times and stated “Apple systemically uses their secrecy policies . . . to cover up corporate malfeasance.”

Given that Apple is one of the biggest companies in existence this shows the power that speaking out against issues like this can have. Hopefully, this raises Apple's labor standards across the board, something it has been good at in the past.

This story is developing as iMore has reached out to Apple for comment, and we will update the story if we get a response.

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.