Apple lets its employees talk about discrimination and abuse

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Apple will no longer prohibit employees from speaking out about workplace harassment and discrimination, as first reported by the Financial times. The company shared the news following a review of Apple’s non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which previously excluded language around the discussion of labor conditions.

In a note titled “Our Commitment to an Open and Collaborative Workplace,” Apple says that “employees have the right to speak up about their working conditions, including harassment and discrimination.” It adds that an independent reviewer found provisions that “may be interpreted as restricting someone’s ability to speak up about such conduct” only in “limited cases”, and that Apple has “committed not to enforce those restrictions and to make improvements and clarifications in the future.” The company is already incorporating language from California’s Silenced No More Act into severance agreements for US employees.

Apple’s use of concealment clauses came under scrutiny after Cher Scarlett, an #AppleToo organizer and former Apple engineer, left the company, accusing it of “coercive and oppressive activities that enabled abuse and harassment of organizers of protected coordinated activities” . As noted by a report from Insider, Scarlett claimed that Apple prevented her from discussing in detail about her departure from the company as part of a separation agreement. Months later, a group of treasurers called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Apple is using its non-disclosure agreements to silence employees.

“We are pleased to announce that Apple has released their report ending the use of non-disclosure clauses in employee contracts, both domestically and for international employees,” said Nia Impact Capital writes on Twitter, noting that contract workers are also included. “This is a game-changing shift for the tech industry.”

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