Female employees sue Apple alleging company’s ‘failure to pay women and men equal wages’

Two female employees file lawsuit against Apple Inc. alleging gender pay discrimination, seeking to represent thousands of affected women.

Livemint
First Published14 Jun 2024, 11:32 AM IST
FILE PHOTO: Apple logo is seen in this illustration taken March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Apple logo is seen in this illustration taken March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(REUTERS)

Two female employees have filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc., alleging that the company systematically pays women less than their male counterparts for comparable work.

As reported by Bloomberg, they aim to represent thousands of other women who they believe are experiencing similar discrimination within the company.

As per the report, they claim that Apple, of Cupertino, California, determined starting salaries before 2018 by asking employees for their compensation history and that this practice “perpetuated historic pay disparities between men and women.”

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“Then, when California outlawed the practice, the iPhone maker started asking for salary expectations, entrenching the disparity,” the women claim.

“Apple’s policy and practice of collecting such information about pay expectations and using that information to set starting salaries has had a disparate impact on women, and Apple’s failure to pay women and men equal wages for performing substantially similar work is simply not justified under the law,” Joe Sellers, a lawyer at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC representing the employees, said in a statement.

Justina Jong and Amina Salgado, the two employees involved in the lawsuit against Apple Inc., additionally assert that men at the company consistently receive higher scores for teamwork and leadership in performance reviews. They argue that this discrepancy leads to lower bonuses and pay for women compared to their male counterparts.

“Jong realized she was being paid about $10,000 less than a male colleague only after she saw his W-2 form on the office printer,” according to the statement.

Also Read: Apple Intelligence leaves iPhone 15 and 15 Plus behind: Expert Ming-Chi Kuo

Bloomberg reported that a representative of Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit, filed Thursday in California state court.

Lawsuits alleging pay discrimination against women in the tech sector have occasionally resulted in significant settlements, although these amounts can sometimes equate to only a few paychecks per individual. The legal team behind Thursday's lawsuit includes lawyers who have previously pursued similar claims against companies like Oracle Corp. and Google. In those cases, the average per-person payouts, after covering legal expenses, were $3,750 for Oracle Corp. and $5,500 for Google.

Jong and Salgado filed the suit on behalf of more than 12,000 current and former female employees in Apple’s engineering, marketing and AppleCare divisions in California. They have both worked at Apple for more than a decade, according to the complaint.

Salgado complained to Apple about the pay disparity a “number of times” but, despite conducting its own investigation, Apple didn’t raise her salary until a third-party probe concluded there was a pay gap between her and her male counterparts, according to the complaint. She didn’t receive back pay, according to her lawyers.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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First Published:14 Jun 2024, 11:32 AM IST
HomeCompaniesNewsFemale employees sue Apple alleging company’s ‘failure to pay women and men equal wages’

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