Home Entertainment company Apple employee who led #AppleToo’s organizing effort says she was fired

Apple employee who led #AppleToo’s organizing effort says she was fired


Originally Posted: OCT 15 21 6:40 PM ET

By Rishi Iyengar, CNN Business

(CNN) – An Apple employee who has led organizational efforts against harassment and discrimination within the company said she was fired.

Janneke Parrish, a program manager at Apple and one of the organizers of the #AppleToo movement, was suspended late last week and fired on Thursday, she told CNN Business in an interview on Friday. Parrish said Apple told him she was fired for deleting files from her work devices before handing them over to the company as part of an internal press leak investigation.

The move marks the latest escalation in a growing rift between Apple and its employees, who in recent months have broken with the company’s historic culture of secrecy to speak out on controversial hiring decisions, alleged wage disparities and remote work policies.

Parrish and a colleague, Cher Scarlett, created #AppleToo in August to help Apple employees “organize and protect themselves,” according to the movement’s website. They called on their colleagues to share stories of issues they have faced, including racism, sexism and discrimination, to describe “the changes we expect from Apple.”

Parrish told CNN Business on Friday that they had received hundreds of reports in the weeks that followed, of incidents that “ranged from sexism and ageism to disclosures of rape and suicide.”

Apple did not specifically comment on Parrish’s termination. Scarlett, who remains at the company, declined to comment.

“We are and always have been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace,” Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock said in a statement to CNN. “We take all concerns seriously and thoroughly investigate each time a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of everyone involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters. “

According to Parrish, the company began investigating her on September 30, days after CEO Tim Cook sent a note to employees warning that “people who disclose confidential information have no place here.” The memo and the leaks from an earlier town hall meeting that triggered it were first reported by The Verge.

Parrish, who said she was not the source of the leaks but had spoken publicly to the press about the issues at Apple, has been asked to hand over her work devices to the company, but has previously deleted some personal information.

“Apple encourages us to merge our home and work devices quite thoroughly for testing,” she said. “I’ve had private conversations, private information like Robinhood’s investments, things that are frankly not Apple’s business to know.”

She said those cuts were what Apple cited as the reason for her dismissal.

Parrish asked her lawyer, Chris Albanese, if she was planning any further action against Apple, who told CNN Business that he was “exploring all the different avenues on behalf of our client.”

The goal behind starting #AppleToo, Parrish said, was to bring attention to “systemic issues” within Apple’s culture that have been “systematically swept under the rug” by the company.

“One thing about Apple’s culture is that it’s a deeply secretive business,” she said, adding that office workers often don’t know what the person next door is working on. of them. “With #AppleToo and with remote working… we are no longer alone, we are no longer isolated, and we recognize that what one of us experiences, many of us experience.”

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