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Former employee who claimed harassment files case against Apple

Former employee who claimed harassment files case against Apple

Janneke Parish (file photo)

Janneke Parish, a former programme manager at tech giant Apple, has now taken the company to court, alleging that she was fired for organising a successful protest that exposed a company-wide culture of tolerating sexual harassment, discrimination and bigotry against certain sections of employees. The case was filed with the U.S National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) that investigates and prosecutes companies which violate employee rights.

While still employed at Apple, Parrish and other employees began an online bulletin called '#AppleToo" chronicling stories of harrasment within the company. According to Reuters, details of the charges filed with the NLRB show that Parrish claims she raised concerns over discrimination against women, the disabled and issues of pay equity and mental health.

Parrish herself claims that the company said it fired her for deleting crucial data on company equipment before turning it in, and that Apple accused her of leaking details of a company meeting with CEO Tim Cook to the public. She adamantly denies both charges.

"I knew from the moment that I started speaking that this was a risk, and a significant one," Parrish said. "If me getting fired helps bring justice to people who have been seeking it, then it's a sacrifice I'm happy to make," she said to the New York Times last month. Parrish alleges that Apple's culture of secrecy often discourages employees from coming out about issues at the workplace.

In September, the tech giant fired Ashley Gjøvik for allegedly leaking confidential information. Gjøvik has filed multiple charges with the NLRB related to how Apple treated her and the broader workforce. Gjøvik has alleged a broader culture of intimidation and workplace surveillance which she told the Verge, earned her almost immediate repercussions for daring to speak out. The company would not even let her delete personal photographs off her device before reclaiming it, she said.

In its statement to Reuters, Apple said it was "deeply committed" to creating a safe, inclusive and equitable workplace for its employees.

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TAGS:#MeToo#AppleTim CookWhistleblowerSexismcourtsLabour rights
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