Fired Apple employee who aired workplace concerns gets approval to sue company

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2021
An Apple employee who spoke out publicly about workplace issues and was recently fired for allegedly leaking confidential information has been given the green light by a civil rights enforcement agency to sue her now-former employer.

Apple Park


Ashely Gjovik confirmed Friday that she received approval from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California's Department of Fair Employment & Housing to file a private lawsuit against Apple. It is unclear if the former engineering program manager will proceed on her claims.

According to documents seen by AppleInsider, Gjovik details a range of disturbing allegations, some of which have been chronicled on Twitter and her website.

For about four years, Gjovik claims she was subjected to sexism, harassment, bullying and retaliation from managers and colleagues. In March of 2021, the former Apple employee raised concerns about potential hazardous waste contamination at her office and filed a workers compensation claim, an action that allegedly prompted further retaliation from managers.

Attempts were made to rectify the situation through employee relations channels in April, but inquiries, including one supposedly ongoing investigation, were fruitless and potentially exacerbated matters.

Despite her objections, Gjovik was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 4.

Similar claims were lodged in a National Labor Relations Board complaint in late August. Gjovik was due to file an affidavit in that case today.

In a confusing series of events on Thursday, Apple accused Gjovik of leaking "confidential product-related information" and called for her immediate participation in an active investigation. She voiced readiness to cooperate in email correspondence with a member of Apple's Threat Assessment and Workplace Violence team on the condition that the conversation be conducted in writing, but the ER representative dismissed the offer and later referenced her decision "not to participate in the discussion."

Apple sent a notice of termination roughly two hours later. The company did not specify what intellectual property was illicitly disclosed.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The development comes as Apple faces mounting criticism from employees who feel like the tech giant doesn't do enough to address allegations of harassment, sexism, racism, inequity and other workplace issues. Some of these claims are being exposed by a group called AppleToo, which last week penned an open letter calling for action from Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior management.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    BosaBosa Posts: 103member
    Let her do it and we can see the psychopath in all her glory
    jajabentoaderuttersocalbrianwilliamlondonapplguyFred257
  • Reply 2 of 49
    BosaBosa Posts: 103member
    Since I doubt this psycho will ever be hired again by anyone, I would not want to spend the the legal fees if I were her . And given how weak her case is, I doubt any lawyer will take it hoping for settlement

    apple will want to make an example of this psycho woman and will not settle 

    so I don’t think this will go forward 
    edited September 2021 jajabentoFred257
  • Reply 3 of 49
    Sue Apple’s army of Ivy League lawyers with what money? Is she going to represent herself with a T3 law degree. I’m afraid she will get steamrolled. The  passive-aggressive profanity ridden vindictive Tweets will not win sympathy from a judge or juror. Just see how Twitter and Reddit has weighed in on her claims. Sometimes winning is learning when to walk away and starting new. Living a happy life (Success) is the best revenge. She lost a solid Apple salary, RSUs (~millions had they vested) and platinum healthcare benefits plus other perks- and for what to be a “badass” ?? A very costly delusion. Good luck to Ashley Gjøvik, she’s going to need it! 
    williamlondonbaconstangBosa
  • Reply 4 of 49
    ... drilling down on some of the article links may better help understand her concerns and zeitgeist ...
    https://www.theverge.com/22648265/apple-employee-privacy-icloud-id
    https://sfbayview.com/2021/03/i-thought-i-was-dying-my-apartment-was-built-on-toxic-waste/
    As a very long time Apple customer I have had increasing questions about Apple's direction since 2011.
    I am reminded of the 'Think Different' campaign that featured images of individuals such as the civil rights lawyer Gandhi...
    edited September 2021 elijahg
  • Reply 5 of 49
    I hope Apple countersues for every single cent to her name. She will then turn into a beggar since no company would be crazy to ever hire her again.
    socalbrianjajabento
  • Reply 6 of 49
    DoomFreakDoomFreak Posts: 19unconfirmed, member
    Apple is hypocritical.  How they pretend to act in the public eye is very different from how they actually act.  They appear to be concerned with customer privacy, yet, offer up user's private data to third party companies.  They appear to be egalitarian while having no fairness or equality in the workplace.
    williamlondonelijahgindieshack
  • Reply 7 of 49
    ... drilling down on some of the article links may better help understand her concerns and zeitgeist ...
    https://www.theverge.com/22648265/apple-employee-privacy-icloud-id
    https://sfbayview.com/2021/03/i-thought-i-was-dying-my-apartment-was-built-on-toxic-waste/
    As a very long time Apple customer I have had increasing questions about Apple's direction since 2011.
    I am reminded of the 'Think Different' campaign that featured images of individuals such as the civil rights lawyer Gandhi...
    I read both of these and find them lacking. In regards to privacy. She is working for the most secretive companies on the planet. They gave them the option of having a separate work phone and to pay for her own personal devices, but she chose not to. It was too inconvenient for her. Her terms of employment clearly state to expect no privacy on devices used for company business. They have a right to monitor these activities and search offices when needed. Just like drug screening can be randomly required when it is company policy. On the environmental thing, she is creating issues by making subjective judgments about reports and their findings being suspicious. California is crazy aggressive on environmental issues and what she is describing would not have been tested to the degree it was in most states. She lost all credibility when she paid almost $1200 for testing that came back negative (inconclusive) which is what every report she questioned provided. Then she wanted to claim it needed to be test that collected data for 6 months. I can promise you, on any given Thursday you can walk outside of a number of cities here in Louisiana within 50 miles of a chemical plant and collect enough toxins from the air in 20 minutes to fill a report and it’s legal. Did she consider the toxins in her tattoos? According to the CDC, You also might become allergic to other products, such as hair dyes, if your tattoo contains p-phenylenediamene (PPD). She may be having a reaction to certain building materials or even types of paint in her apartment that effects no one else because of changes in her body chemistry based on her own choices. 

    edited September 2021 JWSCjajabentosocalbrianwilliamlondonbaconstangBosabyronl
  • Reply 8 of 49
    ok.  I remember this lady with conduct unbecoming of a manager.
    I thought she was on a permanent paid leave of absence.  I guess she misunderstood. lol

    Yes.  I think she is a lulu of a self-destructor and probably has no case.


    socalbrianwilliamlondonjajabentobaconstang
  • Reply 9 of 49
    DoomFreak said:
    Apple is hypocritical.  How they pretend to act in the public eye is very different from how they actually act.  They appear to be concerned with customer privacy, yet, offer up user's private data to third party companies.  They appear to be egalitarian while having no fairness or equality in the workplace.
    What third parties so they give private data to?
    JWSCsocalbrianwilliamlondonapplguybaconstang
  • Reply 10 of 49
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,016member
    genovelle said:
    Did she consider the toxins in her tattoos?
    The single greatest argument in the debates on this topic!  Bravo!

    Why in THE world human beings these days feel the need to not only pierce their bodies with needles by also inject toxins into the skin is something I will NEVER comprehend.  People do it because it's popular.  That's it.  Then when your 70 and those tats are a horrid mess on your body, assuming the toxins don't get you first, what then?

    100% Natural Skin.  It does a body good.
    JWSCjajabentowilliamlondonapplguybaconstanghaunebubyronl
  • Reply 11 of 49
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,785member
    “as Apple faces mounting criticism.”  

    Here we go again.  A common media tactic that ignores the obvious follow up:  Mounting criticism from whom? This is a disgruntled group of employees  led by an obvious grifter.  The answer to the question is the media itself.  They don’t report the news, they are the news.  Tech media is often no different.  


    JWSCsocalbrianwilliamlondonapplguybaconstanghaunebujajabento
  • Reply 12 of 49
    jdw said:
    genovelle said:
    Did she consider the toxins in her tattoos?
    The single greatest argument in the debates on this topic!  Bravo!

    Why in THE world human beings these days feel the need to not only pierce their bodies with needles by also inject toxins into the skin is something I will NEVER comprehend.  People do it because it's popular.  That's it.  Then when your 70 and those tats are a horrid mess on your body, assuming the toxins don't get you first, what then?

    100% Natural Skin.  It does a body good.
    Because they enjoy having them.
    elijahg
  • Reply 13 of 49
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,016member
    Because they enjoy having them.
    Some enjoy having unprotected you-know-what, but that isn't good for them most of the time either.  

    "Do it if it feels right" isn't the best policy in life.
    jajabentowilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 49
    genovelle said:
    ... drilling down on some of the article links may better help understand her concerns and zeitgeist ...
    https://www.theverge.com/22648265/apple-employee-privacy-icloud-id
    https://sfbayview.com/2021/03/i-thought-i-was-dying-my-apartment-was-built-on-toxic-waste/
    As a very long time Apple customer I have had increasing questions about Apple's direction since 2011.
    I am reminded of the 'Think Different' campaign that featured images of individuals such as the civil rights lawyer Gandhi...
    I read both of these and find them lacking. In regards to privacy. She is working for the most secretive companies on the planet. They gave them the option of having a separate work phone and to pay for her own personal devices, but she chose not to. It was too inconvenient for her. Her terms of employment clearly state to expect no privacy on devices used for company business. They have a right to monitor these activities and search offices when needed. Just like drug screening can be randomly required when it is company policy. On the environmental thing, she is creating issues by making subjective judgments about reports and their findings being suspicious. California is crazy aggressive on environmental issues and what she is describing would not have been tested to the degree it was in most states. She lost all credibility when she paid almost $1200 for testing that came back negative (inconclusive) which is what every report she questioned provided. Then she wanted to claim it needed to be test that collected data for 6 months. I can promise you, on any given Thursday you can walk outside of a number of cities here in Louisiana within 50 miles of a chemical plant and collect enough toxins from the air in 20 minutes to fill a report and it’s legal. Did she consider the toxins in her tattoos? According to the CDC, You also might become allergic to other products, such as hair dyes, if your tattoo contains p-phenylenediamene (PPD). She may be having a reaction to certain building materials or even types of paint in her apartment that effects no one else because of changes in her body chemistry based on her own choices. 

    You may be correct - I guess time will tell...  I know the last 2 employment offers (not Apple) I contemplated were so one sided (yet) with concerns having been front run in writing I did not even try and adjust them, being fortunate enough to have the choice to say no thanks... I expect Apple is better than most, however can such an approach actually discourage talent from commitment to the employment realm...? It may be an interesting case to follow.

  • Reply 15 of 49
    genovelle said:
    ... drilling down on some of the article links may better help understand her concerns and zeitgeist ...
    https://www.theverge.com/22648265/apple-employee-privacy-icloud-id
    https://sfbayview.com/2021/03/i-thought-i-was-dying-my-apartment-was-built-on-toxic-waste/
    I read both of these and find them lacking. ... They gave them the option of having a separate work phone and to pay for her own personal devices, but she chose not to. It was too inconvenient for her. Her terms of employment clearly state to expect no privacy on devices used for company business.... On the environmental thing, she is creating issues by making subjective judgments about reports and their findings being suspicious. ...   
    Thanks for providing some balance here. Now, if only the result of this suit could provide actual answers about the entire mess...
  • Reply 16 of 49
    danoxdanox Posts: 719member
    DoomFreak said:
    Apple is hypocritical.  How they pretend to act in the public eye is very different from how they actually act.  They appear to be concerned with customer privacy, yet, offer up user's private data to third party companies.  They appear to be egalitarian while having no fairness or equality in the workplace.
    You confuse Apple with Google or Facebook.
    jajabentosocalbrianwilliamlondonbaconstanghaunebu
  • Reply 17 of 49
    Her suing would be the worst thing for her. They’ll throw her some equivalent of pocket change at her, make her sign an NDA and shut her up
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 49
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,324member
    The speed and seeming duplicity of her dismissal certainly lends weight to such a lawsuit.  I honestly can't understand what Apple thought they were doing with that "not to participate in the discussion" comment; that's a massive point of weakness they've left themselves.

    The termination has every appearance of being motivated by retaliation, and on that basis alone she has a case.
    ronnelijahg
  • Reply 19 of 49
    Her suing would be the worst thing for her. They’ll throw her some equivalent of pocket change at her, make her sign an NDA and shut her up
    Karens always blab their mouth and want to see “the Manager”. “I will report to NLRB, I’m want to speak with Gavin Newsom!, I demand to speak with Joe Biden!!” I don’t think Apple is going to pay her a dime. Especially after she has already displayed her character on Twitter. She has shared screenshots of internal memos. She has called Tim Cook/Apple Mofos. She was fired for allegedly leaking Intellectual Product info. Seems like she’s lost a lot of credibility already (see Twitter/Reddit).  Apple could sue HER to oblivion for breaking her employment contract.  
    socalbrianbaconstanghaunebuBosa
  • Reply 20 of 49
    genovelle said:
    ... drilling down on some of the article links may better help understand her concerns and zeitgeist ...
    https://www.theverge.com/22648265/apple-employee-privacy-icloud-id
    https://sfbayview.com/2021/03/i-thought-i-was-dying-my-apartment-was-built-on-toxic-waste/
    As a very long time Apple customer I have had increasing questions about Apple's direction since 2011.
    I am reminded of the 'Think Different' campaign that featured images of individuals such as the civil rights lawyer Gandhi...
    I read both of these and find them lacking. In regards to privacy. She is working for the most secretive companies on the planet. They gave them the option of having a separate work phone and to pay for her own personal devices, but she chose not to. It was too inconvenient for her. Her terms of employment clearly state to expect no privacy on devices used for company business. They have a right to monitor these activities and search offices when needed. Just like drug screening can be randomly required when it is company policy. On the environmental thing, she is creating issues by making subjective judgments about reports and their findings being suspicious. California is crazy aggressive on environmental issues and what she is describing would not have been tested to the degree it was in most states. She lost all credibility when she paid almost $1200 for testing that came back negative (inconclusive) which is what every report she questioned provided. Then she wanted to claim it needed to be test that collected data for 6 months. I can promise you, on any given Thursday you can walk outside of a number of cities here in Louisiana within 50 miles of a chemical plant and collect enough toxins from the air in 20 minutes to fill a report and it’s legal. Did she consider the toxins in her tattoos? According to the CDC, You also might become allergic to other products, such as hair dyes, if your tattoo contains p-phenylenediamene (PPD). She may be having a reaction to certain building materials or even types of paint in her apartment that effects no one else because of changes in her body chemistry based on her own choices. 

    This response seems quite reasonable. However, I do have an important bone to pick with it.

    "The Right" to do something is not a license to do such a thing. Too many today think their "rights" have no limits, or that their "rights" must be exercised. This applies to both the employee in this case, and Apple, too. The "right" of Apple to monitor an employee's activities and to search offices can only be supported if executed with significant discretion. And, an employee certainly has a right and obligation to ensure a safe and reasonable work environment, but must also be exercised in proportion to the harm, if any. 

    Rights if abused will be lost -- and probably should be lost. 

    I remember from my lawyering days, a divorced couple constantly pushing their "rights" and frequently going to court to get fairly trivial matters resolved by the court (custody time, vacation, etc). By constantly arguing for "their rights" they failed to recognize they had ceded "their rights" to the judge and their respective attorneys. 
    applguy
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