Apple Fires Manager Who Complained; She Gains Right to Sue

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. employee Ashley Gjovik, who filed allegations with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board last month, said she was illegally fired in retaliation and will continue pursuing her legal complaints against the tech giant.

Apple informed Gjovik that it’s terminating her employment for violating policies including the disclosure of confidential product-related information, according to documents that she supplied to Bloomberg News.

“I’m really disappointed because I love Apple,” she said in an interview Friday. “It’s incredibly frustrating that I knew this was coming since March when I started raising concerns about work conditions.”

Gjovik, a senior engineering program manager at the company, filed an Aug. 26 NLRB complaint, which alleged harassment by a manager, a retaliatory investigation and forced paid administrative leave. Her situation began when she voiced fears about whether pollution had made her office a dangerous place to work.

Apple said Thursday that it wouldn’t discuss any individual employee matters, out of respect for the privacy of the people involved.

“We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace,” the company said. “We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised.”

Gjovik also has filed complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, according to documents she provided. The California and U.S. civil rights agencies each issued a right-to-sue notice, giving Gjovik the option to file a discrimination lawsuit in state or federal court.

In her fair employment complaint, Gjovik alleged that she was humiliated, harassed, and discriminated and retaliated against by management, and that Apple employee relations “asked I not share my concerns with other employees” rather than addressing them.

“I have to think they know that I’m not going to let it go,” she said in the interview. “I still am very much devoted to holding them accountable for this and trying to make things better for my colleagues and other people in workplaces like this.”

(Updates with Gjovik’s right-to-sue notice in final two paragraphs.)

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