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Apple Bars Employees From Surveying Pay Equity

Gender pay gap. Seesaw with wooden cubes with signs of men and women with different stacks of coins, man get bigger salary, copy space

August 12, 2021

According to a labor and employment lawyer with White, Hilferty & Albanese, Apple can’t bar its employees from discussing pay equity at the company, but that’s exactly what it is doing. Employees have been sending out informal surveys on pay as related to women and some minorities, but the company has shut them down, claiming they violate rules on data collecting. Under U.S. law, employees have the right to discuss pay, and the attorney quoted in the linked article on The Verge calls the reasons cited by Apple absurd, saying they are tantamount to telling people they can’t talk about pronouns. The first survey went out in the spring, asking employees to volunteer salary information in addition to how they identify in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and disability. Apple’s people team — its name for what is normally called human resources — asked employees to take the survey down, saying the demographic questions constituted personally identifying information. In early August, employees tried to start another pay equity survey. Again they were told to take it down, this time allegedly because it included a question on gender. But when they created a gender-neutral survey, the people team shut it down because it was hosted on the company’s corporate Box account.

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