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Apple agrees to let workers speak out about harassment and discrimination — ‘This gives me a lot of hope for all laborers’

Apple Inc. is promising to restrict its use of nondisclosure agreements and clarifying its insurance policies on workers’ proper to talk out in instances of discrimination and harassment after shareholders pressured the corporate about its practices.


on Friday launched a report on its use of concealment clauses after 50.4% of the corporate’s traders approved a shareholder proposal for such a report in March. The vote got here after controversy concerning the firm’s declare that it doesn’t attempt to silence former workers, which was rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apple employed exterior counsel to overview and consider its insurance policies because it ready the report, which might be discovered on its investor-relations web site. According to the report, exterior counsel confirmed the tech big’s insurance policies are sound and “the risks to Apple are low,” however Apple dedicated to keep away from silencing workers associated to particular conduct.

“In the limited instances where [outside counsel] identified provisions in our employment agreements or agreements with independent contractors that would reasonably be interpreted as restricting a person’s ability to speak about such conduct, we have committed to not enforce those restrictions and to make improvements and clarifications going forward,” the corporate mentioned in its report.

A former Apple software program engineer who mentioned the corporate tried to silence her after her departure from the corporate final yr cheered the information Friday.

“I feel vindicated and glad I spoke out,” Cher Scarlett advised MarketWatch. “Apple needs to set good examples, and they are. This gives me a lot of hope for all laborers.”

The report additionally states that Apple is complying with relevant associated legal guidelines. That features a legislation in California that limits the usage of confidentiality clauses in employment agreements in instances of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, and the federal Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in March.

See: More on the first major ‘Me Too’ law

Ifeoma Ozoma, a driving pressure behind the Silenced No More Act in California who labored with Whistle Stop Capital, Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative) and the Minderoo Foundation on the Apple shareholder proposal filed by Nia Impact Capital, mentioned Friday: “I’m just really proud of the work our coalition did to get this massive win for Apple workers. Workers have always been at the center of this work and today marks a step forward in their ability to speak truth about their experiences at the most valuable company in the world.”

Apple didn’t return a request for remark Friday.




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