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Former Apple employee who claims she was fired for #AppleToo organizing files NLRB complaint



Apple employee who played a pivotal role in establishing the #AppleToo movement against alleged harassment and discrimination within the company filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday. She claims her termination was motivated by her organizing efforts and that she was terminated as a result of her efforts.


AAPL program manager Janneke Parrish, who told CNN Business last month that she was fired from her job, claims she was fired "for 'daring to disturb' Apple's "universe," according to a legal filing with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the company engaged in unfair labor practices. Apple (AAPL) has not responded to the allegations. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent federal agency charged with enforcing labor laws in the United States, and such filings trigger an investigation by the agency.


"Specifically, Parrish spoke out about her personal experiences with workplace concerns and assisted in giving voice to her coworkers' concerns in an environment where such concerns have been systemically siloed, suppressed, and left unaddressed," according to the filing, which was obtained by CNN Business. "Specifically, Parrish spoke out about her personal experiences with workplace concerns and assisted in giving voice to her coworkers' concerns in an environment where such concerns have been systemically siloed, suppresse


Earlier this year, Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock directed CNN Business to a statement released by the company in response to Parrish's claim of termination, which read: "We are, and have always been, deeply committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and positive work environment for all employees. We take all complaints seriously and conduct thorough investigations into them whenever a complaint is lodged with the company. We do not discuss specific employee matters out of respect for the privacy of any individuals who may be affected by the situation."


A series of escalating clashes between Apple and its employees has culminated in this lawsuit, which is the latest in the series. Recent revelations about contentious hiring practices, alleged pay disparities, and remote work policies have prompted employees to defy the company's legendary culture of secrecy and speak out publicly about them.


#AppleToo was founded in August by Parrish and a colleague, Cher Scarlett, with the goal of assisting Apple employees in "organizing and protecting themselves," according to the movement's website. Their goal was to gather stories from coworkers about issues they had encountered, such as instances of racism, sexism, and discrimination, in order to outline the "changes we anticipate Apple will implement." Parrish stated last month that they had received hundreds of reports within a few weeks about alleged incidents ranging from "sexism and ageism to rape and suicide disclosures," and that they had received hundreds of reports within a few weeks.


According to Parrish, who spoke to CNN Business last month, the goal of #AppleToo was to draw attention to "systemic issues" within Apple's culture that have been "systematically swept under the rug."


During an internal investigation into press leaks, Parrish claimed she was fired by Apple on October 14 for deleting files from her work devices prior to handing them over to the company. Apple denied this claim. It was on September 30, according to Parrish, that the company launched an investigation into her, just days after Apple CEO Tim Cook warned employees that "people who leak confidential information do not belong here."


Parrish, who claimed she was not responsible for the leaks but had publicly expressed her dissatisfaction with Apple's practices, was asked to turn in her company-issued devices, but she did so after deleting some personal data. Apple cited those deletions as the reason for her termination, but she asserted in her NLRB complaint that her termination was actually an attempt by the company to dissuade her from participating in union organizing activities.


Several actions were taken on Parrish's behalf on behalf of herself and her coworkers at Apple, according to the filing, including raising concerns about how she and others were allegedly "belittled, yelled at, and treated abusively," as well as raising concerns about Apple's alleged "abusive and discriminatory treatment of people with disabilities" and "employee mental health issues, such as suicide." Apple did not directly respond to the allegations made against it.


It is alleged in the lawsuit that Apple "terminated Parrish's employment on false and pretextual grounds and in fact terminated her employment in an attempt to squelch the successful organizing campaign that Parrish and her coworkers established to address and rectify employees' workplace concerns," according to the filing.

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