The United States Department of Labor has launched an investigation based on a complaint of alleged irregularities involving the multinational Apple , in the latest labor dispute between the famous company and its workers, who report violations of their labor rights.
“We can confirm that there is an open investigation of a group of whistleblowers at Apple,” said a spokesman for the Department of through a statement published in various media outlets. The Department of Labor’s whistleblower protection program, administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), investigates several cases of alleged retaliation by Apple employers against workers who raise concerns and lawsuits on various issues.
Alleged violations of workers’ rights
The Labor Department declined to share more details about the investigation or what prompted it. But former Apple employee Ashley Gjøvik received notice a few weeks ago from OSHA that an investigation had been opened against her based on a complaint she filed late last year.
Gjøvik, a former senior manager of engineering programs at Apple, has been very vocal in recent months about the concerns she says she began raising with the company in March 2021 about environmental and safety issues, and working and working conditions. health at the Sunnyvale, California office where he worked. The former employee claims that Apple rejected her suggestions and did not address her concerns, and asked her not to discuss them with the rest of her colleagues, much less with the media. After that, Gjøvik filed several formal complaints with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
When Apple found out, Gjøvik was immediately fired in early August, according to her OSHA complaint, in what she says was retaliation for reporting her concerns. In response to the announcement about the investigation by the US Department of Labor and Gjøvik’s claims, Apple has referred to a previous statement: “We are and always have been deeply committed to creating and sustaining a place positive and inclusive working environment […] We take all concerns very seriously and thoroughly investigate each of our workers’ complaints and suggestions and, out of respect for the privacy of those involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters” , assured the company a few weeks ago through one of its spokesmen, Josh Rosenstock.
The workers break their silence
The Labor Department investigation is just the latest escalation in the growing tension between Apple and many of its workers. In recent months, employees have broken the company’s legendary culture of secrecy.