Apple says achieved pay equity, urges employees to report workplace issues to management

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2021
Apple SVP of retail and people Deirdre O'Brien in an internal video to employees last week addressed pay equity and workplace issues, both topics that are the source of growing discontent among company staff.

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O'Brien told workers that she knows "a few" employees have raised concerns over pay equity, but claimed Apple has achieved equilibrium across gender and race, according to The Verge reporter Zoe Schiffer, who shared details of the statement in a post to Twitter on Friday. The executive added that Apple's approach to the issue is "best in class."

In early August, Apple squashed internal discussion of pay equity by shutting down three separate employee-run surveys. The company cited inclusion of personally identifiable information and ownership of the systems used to host the surveys as justification for the takedown.

Employees last week attempted to set up an internal Slack channel to foster conversation on pay equity, but that effort was also blocked by Apple.

Additional details of O'Brien's statement were published by MacRumors reported on Monday.

"First, if you ever have a concern about your pay at Apple, please talk to your manager or your people business partner," O'Brien said, according to the publication. "And second, if you ever want to report a concern about your work environment, please come and talk to us, please. And know that we have a confidential process to thoroughly investigate in a way that treats everyone with dignity and respect."

The executive fell short of referencing AppleToo by name, though the remarks appear to be pointed at its endeavor to surface stories of workplace misconduct. An underlying conceit of O'Brien's address seems to oppose organizing against the company.

Over the past few weeks, employees like Ashley Gjovik and Cher Scarlett have attempted to shine a light on workplace issues that get swept under the rug. Both Gjovik and Scarlett filed complaints with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

The thrust to expose Apple's reportedly poor handling of employee grievances culminated in AppleToo, a project organized by a group of current and former employees that includes Scarlett. AppleToo has collected and is starting to publish hundreds of stories illustrating workplace harassment, sexism, racism, inequity and other serious allegations.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,378member
    Sounds like some employees raised some concerns, Apple objected to the systems/manner in which these concerns were raised, took a look at their validity, and has now addressed them head-on.

    This is very similar to the way Apple addresses customer complaints. You’d think Apple’s employees would know this …

    The pay equity concerns appear to have been a non-issue, but the harassment et al issues will be investigated and dealt with. Apple does not want jagoffs misusing their authority, or any further unproven accusations in the press. I applaud those who spoke up in order to get senior management’s attention — sometimes execs get caught up in their own bubble — but now it is time to take Deirdre at her word and give the official procedures a chance to work.
    gregoriusmmobirdtht
  • Reply 2 of 7
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,919member
    Apple needs restrict employees internally openly share their pay information. A employee is not unhappy until knows someone makes more than he/she for similar rank and type of job. It is human nature of comparison and than jealously why I am not respected ?
    So, fire employee who share their pay to others. It is suppose to be confidential like many of your personal things with your first line manager, HR file.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    This is why I don't like talking about salaries with my peers. Someone always ends up getting pissed off in the end somehow. 
    dewmemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 7
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,361member
    Having a great system and policy of ethics and so forth incorporated in your work space is one thing. But a system and policy can be totally disconnected to many people not feeling like they belong in a system. Since Apple is such a big company, hailing the flag of “think different” and ‘here’s to the crazy ones”, I can definitely see how they must have outgrown that era years ago. Now with so many employees, individuals will disappear, and what’s left is only the system and policies. I can see how that most likely is not a nice work environment for individuals not identifying with the system, and it might open up to people taking advantage of that too.

    I don’t know exactly how Apple is run, but I think they should have chill smaller groups where everyone is being seen as an individual, and make sure there’s emotional, highly sensitive people in the teams with the ability to pick up on these things and handle issues that might arise in the group in dignified and friendly terms.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 303member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple needs restrict employees internally openly share their pay information. A employee is not unhappy until knows someone makes more than he/she for similar rank and type of job. It is human nature of comparison and than jealously why I am not respected ?
    So, fire employee who share their pay to others. It is suppose to be confidential like many of your personal things with your first line manager, HR file.
    Why? If Apple can motivate any differences in salary, what is there to be afraid of? In many jurisdictions you cannot restrict employees in this way, and for good reasons
  • Reply 6 of 7
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,483member
    So they're saying that creating a public spectacle of a personal grievance between an employee and their employer isn't the most expeditious way to solve the problem? Huh, who would have thunk. I would have thought that the opinions of thousands of strangers who have zero stake in the outcome and are attracted to the dispute as a morbid fantasy would be the path to resolution.

    One solution to employee salary disputes would be to adopt a compensation formula with discrete ranking and service time much like what the military and some public services follow. I'm not sure this would play well with the vast majority of people, especially those who view their measure of value as an employee and (sadly) as a person to be a reflection of their compensation. The current system of compensation for rank and file employees is a strange dance of deception and delusion that is only preserved by keeping some secrets very close and undisclosed to all but our closest partner, at best. In other words, it's all based on a lie that we are compelled to preserve unless we want the whole system to break down and succumb to chaos powered by human frailty and insecurity. The only truth is that we know that we can't handle the truth. For the greater good, we admit that ignorance is bliss.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,272member
    palegolas said:
    Having a great system and policy of ethics and so forth incorporated in your work space is one thing. But a system and policy can be totally disconnected to many people not feeling like they belong in a system. Since Apple is such a big company, hailing the flag of “think different” and ‘here’s to the crazy ones”, I can definitely see how they must have outgrown that era years ago. Now with so many employees, individuals will disappear, and what’s left is only the system and policies. I can see how that most likely is not a nice work environment for individuals not identifying with the system, and it might open up to people taking advantage of that too.

    I don’t know exactly how Apple is run, but I think they should have chill smaller groups where everyone is being seen as an individual, and make sure there’s emotional, highly sensitive people in the teams with the ability to pick up on these things and handle issues that might arise in the group in dignified and friendly terms.
    Good points, however, emotional, highly sensitive people suck to work with. 
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