Whistleblower casts doubt on Apple's claims that it doesn't silence employees

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 24
Cher Scarlett, a central organizer of the #AppleToo movement, said Apple attempted to get her to sign a strict NDA as part of a separation agreement that she didn't end up signing.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Scarlett was an early founder of the #AppleToo movement, which sought to bring light to alleged racism, sexism, inequality, and other issues at Apple. After reaching a settlement with Apple, Scarlett agreed to leave the company and drop a National Labor Relations Board complaint. The complaint is still on the books at this time.

As part of a separation agreement offered in October, Apple lawyers attempted to get Scarlett to sign strict nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses. Some of the language in the agreements outlined exactly what Apple wanted Scarlett to say about her departure: "After 18 months at Apple, I've decided it is time to move on and pursue other opportunities."

Scarlett told Business Insider that she was "shocked" by the clause.

"In my mind, I should be able to say whatever I want as long as I'm not defaming Apple," she said.

The #AppleToo organizer declined to sign the gag order. However, Business Insider reports that it was fresh on her mind when the company made several statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission in October.

In response to a shareholder proposal expressing concern about the use of NDAs "in the context of harassment, discrimination, and other unlawful acts," Apple told the SEC that it doesn't use such clauses.

However, Scarlett filed a whistleblower complaint on Oct. 25 calling Apple's statements to the SEC "false statements or misleading." She cited her own experience receiving NDAs from Apple, and included a copy of the settlement agreement with her whistleblower complaint.

On Monday, Nia Impact Capital -- the activist shareholder group that expressed the NDA concerns -- informed the SEC on Monday that it had "received information, confidentially provided, that Apple has sought to use concealment clauses in the context of discrimination, harassment, and other workplace labor violation claims." Scarlett revealed that she was the source of the information Monday evening.

The separation agreement from October is separate from the pending settlement with Apple that prompted the dropping of the NLRB complaint.

Apple is in the midst of controversy surrounding employees organizing. While the notoriously secretive company condemned recent leaks to the press, Apple earlier in November issued a memo that affirmed employees' rights to openly discuss pay and workplace conditions.

Back in October, Ashley Gjovik -- who was fired in September for allegedly sharing confidential information -- also filed a complaint with the SEC.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Anyone else getting a bit weary of complaints that seem to be supported by Cher Scarlett and...basically nobody else and no other evidence?

    Also, asking someone to sign an NDA does not equate to "silencing" them. This should be blatantly obvious from the get-go, right? But in this case it's even more blindingly obvious: she refused to sign, and here she is complaining to her heart's content.

    So perhaps I am just dim or obtuse, but I'm having trouble seeing what the actual problem is, here. She wants to be an Apple critic, she apparently planned to be an Apple critic starting about fifty milliseconds after getting hired by Apple, and, lo and behold, here she is being an Apple critic, unhindered. Great. Have at.
    williamlondonjiblkrupplorca2770georgie01applguysdw2001scout6900oldcastleentropys
  • Reply 2 of 23
    What is with your obsession writing about her? It is kinda weird 

    Especially given you’ve never reported how she’s  pulled the same exact thing at previous companies 
    williamlondonlorca2770georgie01scout6900gilly33entropys
  • Reply 3 of 23
    These complainers don’t know how good they have it. Try working in Any other country or even Microsoft and see what happens 
    williamlondongeorgie01scout6900
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Bosa said:
    These complainers don’t know how good they have it. Try working in Any other country or even Microsoft and see what happens 
    Whataboutism isn’t a valid argument. 
    williamlondonMplsPbeowulfschmidtcuriousrun8
  • Reply 5 of 23
    red oak said:
    What is with your obsession writing about her? It is kinda weird 

    Especially given you’ve never reported how she’s  pulled the same exact thing at previous companies 
    What’s YOURS?  Apple lied to the SEC. That’s news. 
    williamlondoncuriousrun8
  • Reply 6 of 23
    Anyone else getting a bit weary of complaints that seem to be supported by Cher Scarlett and...basically nobody else and no other evidence?

    Also, asking someone to sign an NDA does not equate to "silencing" them. This should be blatantly obvious from the get-go, right? But in this case it's even more blindingly obvious: she refused to sign, and here she is complaining to her heart's content.

    So perhaps I am just dim or obtuse, but I'm having trouble seeing what the actual problem is, here. She wants to be an Apple critic, she apparently planned to be an Apple critic starting about fifty milliseconds after getting hired by Apple, and, lo and behold, here she is being an Apple critic, unhindered. Great. Have at.
    Why else would you want somebody to sign an NDA?
    williamlondonMplsPelijahgmuthuk_vanalingamcuriousrun8
  • Reply 7 of 23
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,330member
    Why the fuck does this worthless individual deserve endless articles written about her, as if she has anything meaningful to say? She doesn’t. She’s a narcissist that’s desperate for attention. An NDA isn’t “silencing”. She started shitting on Apple publically right after she joined. Nothing she says is supported by any real evidence or a meaningful number of employees. This person is an insipid liar with malicious intentions, probably suffers from some mental health issues just like that other one who claimed that Apple is poisoning her, and she shouldn’t be treated as some kind of hero. She’s not a fucking “whistleblower” and stop defining her as such in your headlines for clicks. It cheapens this site. 
    edited November 23 williamlondongeorgie01red oakBeatsapplguysdw2001scout6900bloggerbloggilly33
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Why else would you want somebody to sign an NDA?

    Oh, I dunno. Maybe to protect your intellectual property? To keep somebody from (the "non" part) taking the innovation you've spent millions developing and selling / leveraging / divulging (the "disclosure" part) for personal gain?

    williamlondongeorgie01Beatsmike1scout6900gilly33entropys
  • Reply 9 of 23
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,441member
    slurpy said:
    Why the fuck does this worthless individual deserve endless articles written about her, as if she has anything meaningful to say? She doesn’t. She’s a narcissist that’s desperate for attention. An NDA isn’t “silencing”. She started shitting on Apple publically right after she joined. Nothing she says is supported by any real evidence or a meaningful number of employees. This person is an insipid liar with malicious intentions, probably suffers from some mental health issues just like that other one who claimed that Apple is poisoning her, and she shouldn’t be treated as some kind of hero. She’s not a fucking “whistleblower” and stop defining her as such in your headlines for clicks. It cheapens this site. 
    Actually, that's just about the only purpose of an NDA - companies give someone a severance package and in return ask them to sign an NDA so the company doesn't have to worry about bad press after they leave. It's little more than buying someone off and is standard practice.

    If she's an insipid liar then Apple can and should sue her for slander. 
    williamlondonelijahgmuthuk_vanalingamsdw2001scout6900
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Bosa said:
    These complainers don’t know how good they have it. Try working in Any other country or even Microsoft and see what happens 
    Whataboutism isn’t a valid argument. 
    Of course it is. We live in an extremely entitled and ungrateful time in human history. Western ideas, with all their faults, have brought about unprecedented success in terms of providing for people (including for minorities and women).

    So when someone moans and complains without an expression of gratefulness for the extraordinary plentifulness they have, the complaint cannot be accepted at face value.

    It’s a similar problem to the billionaire complaining they couldn’t get their 100th vintage automobile in perfect condition because someone got to it first who wouldn’t appreciate it as much as they believe they would. Or the person throwing a fit because they were ‘misgendered’, while children in other countries don’t even have enough food to be healthy. Those complaints are trite and meaningless in the bigger picture.
    Beatsgilly33badmonk
  • Reply 11 of 23
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,642member
    Why does everyone expect Apple to be their personal footstool? 
    scout6900
  • Reply 12 of 23
    BosaBosa Posts: 80member
    This reminds me of the new Documentary on Apple TV “The line”

    this lady reminds me of the millennial accusers lol
    Beats
  • Reply 13 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    slurpy said:
    Why the fuck does this worthless individual deserve endless articles written about her, as if she has anything meaningful to say? She doesn’t. She’s a narcissist that’s desperate for attention. An NDA isn’t “silencing”. She started shitting on Apple publically right after she joined. Nothing she says is supported by any real evidence or a meaningful number of employees. This person is an insipid liar with malicious intentions, probably suffers from some mental health issues just like that other one who claimed that Apple is poisoning her, and she shouldn’t be treated as some kind of hero. She’s not a fucking “whistleblower” and stop defining her as such in your headlines for clicks. It cheapens this site. 
    What lies do you think she's told?

    And if Apple is lying to the SEC sand shareholders and she has evidence of it then she is definitely a whistleblower.
    curiousrun8
  • Reply 14 of 23
    I can empathize in disappointment when the bloom comes off the rose...
    edited November 24
  • Reply 15 of 23
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,747member
    Apple is in the midst of controversy surrounding employees organizing. 


    Is it? Why, because the tech press made it so? It doesn't seem like the rest of the media world cares.  I suspect that's because most people just don't believe that racism and sexism is rampant or even a major problem at Apple.  You have some (former) employees are who are obvious, vapid publicity whores who created the reductive "#AppleToo" to get their 15 minutes and whatever compensation they could.  If there was really a major issue at Apple, you'd see a lot more than some NLRB companies and hashtags.  
    scout6900libertymatters
  • Reply 16 of 23
    If her allegations are true, then they're true.  If they're false, then they're false.  If she has evidence of Apple doing precisely what they say they do not do, then she has evidence.  If she doesn't have evidence, then she doesn't have evidence.

    What she did or didn't do at other companies is irrelevant to the veracity of those facts.
    crowleyMplsPwilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 23
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,582member
    Myself and or my son who are very good hardware/software engineers with years of experience in high tech field; will be more than happy to take her(Apple female complainer employee) job at Apple. Unless she is Elon Musk level genius, she has no idea how good Apple job until she works for other companies. When you have a job at Apple, you feel privileged to complain against great employer like Apple because Apple allows it.
    Apple must stop encouraging employees to discuss openly compensation/benefits or non-job related issues. It only creates bad feeling,unhappy and jealousy among employees when they find what others making in compensation and they are not with out understanding further the truth, why. Such unhappy employees become detrimental to productivity,high maintenance and spirals into more and more employees turn into complainers. Compensation should be confidential between employer and employee.
    edited November 24 Beats
  • Reply 18 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    wood1208 said:

    Apple must stop encouraging employees to discuss openly compensation/benefits. 
    They don't.  And that's the problem, because their corporate policy is bashing up against California law.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    georgie01 said:
    Whataboutism isn’t a valid argument. 
    Of course it is.
    No, it isn't. Try telling the cop who pulls you over for speeding that you shouldn't be cited because "that other guy was going even faster." It doesn't change the facts in your particular case and its sole purpose is to deflect attention.
    MplsPbeowulfschmidtwilliamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 23
    wood1208 said:
    Apple must stop encouraging employees to discuss openly compensation/benefits or non-job related issues. It only creates bad feeling,unhappy and jealousy among employees when they find what others making in compensation and they are not with out understanding further the truth, why.
    I make no judgment about working for Apple. It's obviously a great gig for thousands of people. Arguing that it's bad for morale to find out the company might be treating you and many employees in similar situations unfairly, though, is utterly missing the point. Your work supports your employer, and rightly so because that's why they pay you, but it's not your moral duty to support your employer's actions just because the company pays you to work there; your moral duty is to support you. Historically, that has meant also supporting your fellow employees, not management.

    MplsP
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