U.S. Labor Department Opens Investigation Into Apple

The United States Labor Department has launched an investigation into Apple’s treatment of employees, a department spokesperson told The New York Times today.

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In recent weeks, Apple employees have been critical of workplace misconduct and have shared their frustrations, which has led to the creation of an “AppleToo” initiative calling on Apple executives to address the abuse, discrimination, and harassment that employees have reported.

The U.S. Labor Department did not provide details on who requested the investigation, but The New York Times points out that former Apple employee Ashley Gjovik recently filed a complaint. Gjovik claims that Apple fired her in retaliation for bringing workplace-related health concerns to light.

The department declined to say who had requested the investigation or what it was about, but Ashley Gjovik, a former employee who has been outspoken about misconduct at Apple, said she had filed the complaint “to ensure Apple knows they cannot get away with retaliating against me for exercising my federally and state-protected rights.”

Gjovik last week received a letter from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Whistleblower Protection Program that confirmed the department will conduct an investigation.

Apple told The New York Times that it is “deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive, inclusive workplace” and that it does not comment on specific employees.

Back in September, Apple retail and people chief Deirdre O’Brien encouraged employees who are experiencing issues to talk to their managers and their “business relations partner.” Apple, she said, has a “confidential process” to investigate complaints in a way that “treats everyone with dignity and respect.”

Apple is also facing an investigation from the National Labor Relations Board, and Gjovik has also filed complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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