Former Apple Employee Colleges Its anti-leak attitude is illegal

  • Former Apple employee Ashley Gjovik filed a new complaint against the tech giant on Tuesday.
  • She claims that Apple’s anti-leak attitude and strict employee handbook violate US labor laws.
  • Last month, Tim Cook allegedly wrote “people who leak confidential information do not belong here”, in an email to staff.

Last month, Ashley Gjovik was fired from her senior program manager position at Apple. Now she has just completed midterms during her final year of law school.

While studying for her employment law degree, Gjovik told Insider that she noted that the “illegal examples” mentioned in her textbook were “almost identical to terms in Apple’s employee policy.”

Gjovik said it prompted her to file complaints to the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday, claiming that Apple’s anti-leak attitude and strict employee handbook violate U.S. labor law.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The first complaint refers to an email, CEO Tim Cook, that was allegedly sent to staff last month. In it, he wrote that “people who leak confidential information do not belong here,” the application states. A day later, the email was leaked to The Verge.

“I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to identify those who are leaking,” Cook reportedly wrote. “As you know, we do not tolerate the disclosure of confidential information, whether it’s the product’s IP or the details of a confidential meeting.”

Gjovik stressed that although there are IP laws that protect a company’s confidential product information, the discussion of employee meetings potentially restricts workers from communicating about jobs, a right protected by the NLRB.

The applications, which were obtained by Insider, also claim that several rules outlined in Apple’s Employee Handbook violate U.S. labor laws. The guidelines in the complaint restrict Apple employees from talking to journalists, revealing employee compensation, and using “vulgar” language on social media.

“This seems like one of the most fundamental changes that needs to be made to organize Apple’s workplaces and employees,” Gjovik said. “If people are afraid that they can not talk to each other about working conditions or talk to a labor lawyer about working conditions – a union could not even start organizing.”

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