Apple is being sued by female workers for pay discrimination

Apple Inc. was sued by 2 female employees, who claimed that it “systematically” paid women less than male counterparts. They are also seeking to represent thousands more women who face the same discrimination.

Apple of Cupertino in California claims that it determined the starting salary before 2018 by asking its employees about their compensation history. This practice, they claim, “perpetuated historical pay disparities” between men and woman.

Women claim that after California banned the practice, iPhone makers began asking about salary expectations. This further entrenched the gender disparity.

In a statement, Joe Sellers, a Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC lawyer representing the employees said that Apple’s practice of collecting information about salary expectations and using it to set starting salaries had a disparate effect on women. Apple’s failure in paying women and men the same wages for doing substantially similar work was not justified by the law.

A W-2 in a nutshell

Justina Jong, and Amina Salagado claim that men are given higher ratings for teamwork and leadership in Apple’s performance reviews. This results in women receiving lower bonuses and wages.

Jong only realised that she was paid US$10,000 less (RM47135) than a male co-worker after seeing his W-2 on the office printer.

Apple did not immediately respond to an inquiry for comment about the lawsuit, which was filed in California state courts on Thursday.

Some lawsuits alleging pay discrimination in the tech sector have resulted in settlements of substantial amounts, which can still amount to one or two paychecks per person. After legal fees, the lawyers who filed this suit on Thursday include those who brought similar claims against Oracle Corp. and Google, and won payouts per person of US$3,750, or RM17,675, and US$5,500, or RM25,924, respectively.

12,000 Employees

Jong and Salgado brought the lawsuit on behalf of over 12,000 female employees who are currently or were previously employed by Apple in its engineering, marketing and AppleCare departments in California. According to the complaint, they have both worked for Apple for over a decade.

Salgado complained about the pay disparity to Apple “numerous times.” But, despite its own investigation, Apple did not raise her salary until after a third party probe found that there was a gap in pay between her and male counterparts. According to her attorneys, she did not receive any back pay.

Jong and Salgado claim unspecified wages. Bloomberg

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