NDA as a muzzle: Developer raises new allegations against Apple

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The developer and #AppleToo co-initiator Cher Scarlett has turned to the US Securities and Exchange Commission with a complaint against Apple. As part of a settlement, Apple had given her the exact language, according to which she had to declare leaving the company as a personal decision – instead of as an “escape from a hostile work environment”, such as Insider cited from Scarlett’s letter to the SEC.

Activist shareholders see this as a muzzle that is in direct contradiction to Apple’s statements to the stock exchange regulator. The shareholder organization Nia Impact asked Apple in September with a shareholder motion filed with the SEC to adjust the confidentiality agreement for employees so that internal grievances are not swept under the carpet. Apple’s non-disclosure clauses (NDA) protect company secrets in a legitimate way, it says in the submission – but there is no exception clause so that employees can openly express themselves about “harassment, discrimination and other unlawful acts”.

Apple denied this to the SEC in October, demanding that the shareholder motion be dismissed. Nothing in Apple’s “Separation Agreements” would prohibit former employees from discussing “harassment, discrimination or other unlawful acts in the workplace” with third parties.

You can see a clear example in Apple’s settlement guidelines that attempts are being made to force former employees to remain silent, explained Nia Impact now Insider. In an internal memo, Apple recently emphasized that there are no corporate guidelines that restrict the “free exchange of information about salaries, working hours or working conditions”. While at Apple, Scarlett complained that the company had blocked several of her internal surveys on pay equity.

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Encouraged by team communication tools, Apple employees have started over the past few months to organize themselves around various issues and to express their displeasure in public. Two employees were fired, they accused Apple of betraying secrets.

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