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Ex-employees slam Apple with lawsuits claiming age and gender discrimination amid an unprecedented wave of worker activism within the company

Ex-employees slam Apple with lawsuits claiming age and gender discrimination amid an unprecedented wave of worker activism within the company

Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images




Two former high-level Apple employees have filed separate lawsuits accusing the company of age and gender discrimination.




Both women allege a culture at male-dominated Apple headquarters that allowed demeaning and retaliatory behavior to go unchecked.




The accusations come amid a wave of unprecedented activism among Apple employees.


A former Apple employee is suing the company alleging gender discrimination and retaliation, adding legal trouble as more employees push back publicly against a culture of secrecy around workplace issues.In a previously unreported lawsuit filed at the end of June against Apple in Santa Clara County, former high-level engineer Catherine Vartuli alleges being penalized, discriminated, and retaliated against after discovering and bringing to her manager that she was paid less than half that of her male peers.Vartuli's lawsuit is one of a series of recent accusations against the iPhone maker that it has built a culture of secrecy that penalizes employees who speak out about workplace harassment and discrimination. In the last few months, a movement among Apple employees, known as AppleToo, has seen Apple workers speaking out with claims of an often toxic work culture - a rarity at the famously secret company. Last week, the company fired one of the organizers of that movement, Janneke Parrish; it also fired program manager Ashley Gjovik this summer after she accused the company on social media of mishandling her claims of harassment and workplace safety issues.Vartuli's lawsuit is not the only one filed this year by a former employee against the company. In February, finance director Bernadette Alexander sued the company, alleging ageism and retaliation.
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