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Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Gender Pay Disparities

TL;DR intro

  • Gender Pay Disparity Lawsuit:Two female employees have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, alleging systemic gender pay disparities.
  • Potential Scope:Over 12,000 current and former female employees in California's engineering, marketing, and AppleCare divisions could be affected.

Apple Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed by two female employees who allege that the company systematically pays women less than men for similar work. The lawsuit, filed in California state court, seeks to represent over 12,000 current and former female employees in Apple's engineering, marketing, and AppleCare divisions in California.

The Allegations

The plaintiffs claim that Apple determined starting salaries based on employees' compensation history until 2018, a practice that perpetuated historical pay disparities between men and women. When California outlawed this practice, Apple allegedly started asking for salary expectations, which the plaintiffs argue further entrenched the disparity.

“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,” said Joe Sellers, a lawyer representing the employees. “Apple's failure to pay women and men equal wages for performing substantially similar work is simply not justified under the law.”

The plaintiffs also allege that Apple's performance review system is biased against women, with men routinely receiving higher scores on teamwork and leadership, resulting in lower bonuses and pay for female employees. Jong discovered she was being paid about $10,000 less than a male colleague after seeing his W-2 form.

A representative of Apple stated that the company is committed to inclusion and pay equity. “Since 2017, Apple has achieved and maintained gender pay equity and every year we partner with an independent third-party expert to examine each team member's total compensation and make adjustments, where necessary, to ensure that we maintain pay equity.”

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California has prohibited employers from asking job applicants about their salary history since 2018. The lawsuit claims that by asking for salary expectations, Apple perpetuates existing wage disparities. The plaintiffs accuse Apple of violating California's Equal Pay Act and state laws prohibiting workplace sex bias and unfair business practices.

This lawsuit follows a trend of significant settlements in the tech industry over pay discrimination claims. The same lawyers who filed the suit against Apple have brought similar claims against Oracle and Google, resulting in substantial settlements for the plaintiffs.

The outcome of this lawsuit will be closely watched, as it could have significant implications for Apple and other tech companies regarding gender pay equity and workplace discrimination.

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