Apple under fire for shuttering Slack pay equity channel

An employee attorney says the banning of the channel under rule of approved clubs and hobbies is not only inconsistent enforcement, but clear retaliation.

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Employees of the Apple company have exposed signs of major turmoil within the company over the course of the last few weeks. A group of current and previous employees who had experienced allegedly unfair conditions at the company promised to speak openly on the matter soon, and more recently, a Slack channel has reportedly been banned within the company’s online workspace relating to pay equity. Moreover, this ban is a seemingly inconsistent enforcement of company rules according to attorneys and sources close to the situation.

Apple’s banning of the apparently pay equity Slack channel was recently reported by The Verge. According to said report, Apple had recently banned the channel, created to openly discuss information and statistics on pay of employees within the company. Nothing illegal was reportedly done within the channel. However, Apple apparently banned the channel, citing employment Terms and Conditions relating to approved clubs and hobbies within the Slack, of which the channel was deemed in violation. This, however, flies in the face of the fact that there are several such unapproved “hobby or club” channels in the company, including #fun-dogs, #gaming, and #dad-jokes, each with thousands of members apiece.

As employees have remained in remote working situations over the course of more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Slack has taken up a bigger role of keeping employees in contact with management.
As employees have remained in remote working situations over the course of more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Slack has taken up a bigger role of keeping employees in contact with management.

According to employment attorney Vincent P. White, Apple’s inconsistent enforcement of Slack rules at the company may be considered in violation labor law.

“Discussing pay equity is a protected activity under federal, state, and local law,” says White. “Everyone agrees on that. For them to try and impair employees’ ability to discuss pay equity and diversity in the workplace is a clear-cut act of retaliation.”

Furthermore, it’s not the only problem Apple is dealing with. As the company remains embroiled in legal battle with Epic Games over cuts of app sales on its platform, former and current employees have also fielded the #AppleToo website, aimed at speaking to various harassment and unfair treatment within the company after becoming frustrated with apparent inaction from the company’s HR department.

Whether the enforcement of Apple’s Slack rules holds up legally in light of its seeming selectiveness remains to be seen, but the timing is suspect, to say the least. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates and details.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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