Apple sued over alleged gender pay bias

The lawsuit claims Apple circumvented state law on wage discrimination, paying women less than men.

Female employees at Apple have filed a lawsuit alleging gender pay bias and seeking class status for around 12,000 women in California.

Driving the news: The lawsuit claims that Apple circumvented California laws on wage discrimination by asking applicants for their “pay expectations,” perpetuating pay disparities and paying women less than men. The legal filing also accuses Apple of rewarding men for qualities like teamwork and leadership while penalizing women for the same behaviors, and for identifying more men as having talent compared to women.

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  • The lawsuit was filed by two women and aims to include women who have worked in Apple’s engineering, marketing, or AppleCare divisions in the past four years.
  • One of the plaintiffs, Justina Jong, discovered a significant salary difference compared to a male colleague doing the same work, potentially entitling the 12,000 women to hundreds of millions of dollars in back pay.
  • The lawsuit includes claims for emotional distress compensation and seeks damages for lower pay due to gender bias.

The backstory: Jong, who joined Apple in 2013, faced sexual harassment from a male coworker in 2019 and was allegedly required to work with him in a hostile environment, leading her to take a temporary medical leave.

  • Another plaintiff, Amina Salgado, an area manager in AppleCare, raised concerns about being paid less than her male counterparts, which was acknowledged by Apple only after an external investigation.
  • Apple raised Salgado’s salary to match male employees but refused to compensate her for the past pay disparities.
  • Attorney James Finberg highlighted the potential for substantial compensation owed to the female Apple employees in back pay based on the allegations in the lawsuit.
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