#AppleToo organizer will no longer withdraw her labor board complaint

Cher Scarlett agreed to withdraw her NLRB complaint when she left the company.

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Mariella Moon
December 10, 2021 1:29 AM
In this article: news, gear, AppleToo, Apple, protest
"Hong Kong, China - October 20, 2011: People in the Apple Store at International Finance Center, Central Hong Kong, opened on the September 24, 2011. With 15000 square feet and 300 employees it is one of the biggest apple stores in the world."
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Back in November, Apple engineer Cher Scarlett left the tech giant. Scarlett was one of the lead organizers of the #AppleToo movement and aired fellow employees' and workers' grievances against the company on their behalf. She also filed a complaint against Apple with the National Labor Relations Board for allegedly suppressing workers' organizing efforts and interfering with surveys involving gender pay equity. The former Apple engineer was supposed to withdraw her complaint as part of the settlement when she left. Now, though, she told Forbes that she's no longer withdrawing her complaint because of the way Apple chose to execute the terms it agreed to. 

Under the terms of their settlement, Scarlett would receive a one-year severance package if she withdraws her complaint with the NLRB. Apple also agreed to publicly acknowledge workers' rights to talk about their salaries and workplace conditions. "One of the requests I made was for there to be a very public, visible affirmation that employees are allowed to discuss their workplace conditions and compensation, both internally and externally," she told Forbes.

While Apple did acknowledge workers' rights to discuss pay, the company only posted its stance on its internal human resources page. Also, it allegedly made the post on November 19th, the weekend before employees' Thanksgiving vacation, when people may not be paying attention to anything work-related. The company also took the post down by Monday after the holidays when employees have only just started coming back to work.

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In addition, Scarlett said Apple refused to make the 22 changes in the settlement document that the NLRB had requested. One of those changes involve a part in the settlement that asks Scarlett not to "solicit, encourage or incite anyone to file any charge or complaint with any administrative agency or Court against Apple" for a year after the settlement is executed. Apparently, the NLRB requested for the words "encourage or incite" to be removed from the paragraph. Scarlett says that kind of language would prevent her from helping Apple employees organize or file complaints against the company. 

So far, Scarlett has reportedly only received less than half of the settlement she was promised, and she'd likely no longer get the rest now that she isn't withdrawing her labor board complaint anymore. Apple is also facing another NLRB complaint filed by former senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik who was fired in September. Gjøvik previously said that she was put on indefinite paid administrative leave after raising concerns about sexism in the workplace, as well as dealing with an unsafe and hostile work environment. 

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