SYSTEM

Apple sued by female workers

Two employees have filed a lawsuit, alleging the maker pays women less than men for the same work

FILE PHOTO: The Park campus in Cupertino, California. ©  MediaNews Group / Bay Area News via Getty Images

Apple has systematically paid female employees less than men for the same work and favors males in performance evaluations, according to a lawsuit filed by two female employees.

The two individuals, who have worked at the tech giant for more than a decade, launched the proceedings on Thursday at a court in San Francisco. The class action represents over 12,000 current and former female members of staff across the corporation’s engineering, marketing, and AppleCare divisions, a law firm representing the plaintiffs said.

The case focuses on the iPhone maker’s hiring practices and performance evaluations, which the women allege have favored male employees, leading to a systemic wage gap.

According to the complaint, Apple bases employees’ starting salaries on their “pay expectations,” which results in lower rates for women. The plaintiffs argue that the Cupertino-based multinational’s practices have “had the effect of perpetuating past pay disparities and paying women less than men.”

The lawsuit also claims that Apple’s performance evaluation system, which sets raises and bonuses, is biased in favor of men.

“Apple’s policy and practice of collecting such information about pay expectations and using that information to set starting salaries, has had a disparate impact on women, and Apple’s failure to pay women and men equal wages for performing substantially similar work is simply not justified under the law,” Joe Sellers, a lawyer at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, representing the employees, said in a statement.

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One of the plaintiffs, customer and technical training instructor Justina Jong, reportedly discovered the disparity when she accidentally saw a male colleague’s W-2 form.

“I noticed that he was being paid almost $10,000 more than me, even though we performed substantially similar work. This revelation made me feel terrible,” Jong said.

The second plaintiff, Amina Salgado, who has worked at Apple since 2012, had repeatedly raised concerns about the wage gap at the company, which eventually led to a third-party investigation in late 2023. The probe reportedly confirmed that she had been underpaid.

In a statement cited by Reuters, Apple claimed that since 2017 it has maintained “gender pay equity and every year we partner with an independent third-party expert to examine each team member’s total compensation and make adjustments, where necessary.”

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