Friday, August 5, 2022

Apple’s People Team

Matt Drange:

In responding to a shareholder proposal for Apple to assess potential risk associated with using NDAs “in the context of harassment, discrimination, and other unlawful acts,” Apple told the SEC that its “policy is to not use such clauses.” As a result, attorneys for Apple argued the company had already addressed the concerns of activist shareholders.

Citing her own experience receiving NDAs from Apple, Scarlett filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC on October 25. The complaint, which Insider has reviewed, details what Scarlett says are “false statements or misleading statements” by Apple to the agency.

Scarlett included a copy of the settlement agreement Apple offered her in her SEC complaint, describing how the company included a “statement I was allowed to say about my leaving the company being a personal decision, rather than fleeing a hostile work environment[…]

Patrick McGee:

Mohr previously had a bad experience with human resources—known internally as Apple’s People group—when another colleague had broken into her accounts and harassed her, leading her to file a police report. HR didn’t listen well or help in any way, she says, so this time she didn’t bother.


In interviews with 15 female Apple employees, both current and former, the Financial Times has found that Mohr’s frustrating experience with the People group has echoes across at least seven Apple departments spanning six US states.


The accounts collected by the FT paint a portrait of a People team that acts less like a safe place for employees to go with complaints and more like a risk mitigation unit that protects bad managers.


Insiders say it’s a matter of priorities. Apple “is so singularly obsessed about making the best products, that there are blinders to everything else,” says Chris Deaver, an HR business partner at Apple from 2015 to 2019.

That familiar line is going to have a different ring the next time Tim Cook says it.

Dan Luu:

Every time I’ve taken a job because I let someone convince me that some horrible thing has gotten much better, I’ve regretted it, even though things had really improved a lot.

The problem is, they generally had no external frame of reference, so much better was still quite bad.


5 Comments RSS · Twitter

> acts less like a safe place for employees to go with complaints and more like a risk mitigation unit

When and where has HR ever been anything else but that? I am amazed that anybody is surprised by this.

@Brad I was just going to say the exact same thing. HR is not your friend. It does not exist to help you. It exists to help the company.

@Ben @Darren. Yes. In the context of HR that is the norm. Except as @mjtsai pointed out, That was not how Tim Cook's Apple portrayed to the public. The amount of virtue signalling Apple has been doing.

Any time something like this happens, there are countless comments about how "HR is there to protect the company, not you." Well, yeah. We all get that. But that doesn't mean it isn't useful to talk about this stuff, and it doesn't mean that companies can't get better at how they treat their employees.

It's not clever to defend HR by pointing out that this isn't surprising, it's harmful, because it shifts the blame for this bs from the company (where it should be) to the employees (where it should not be).

HR is there to protect the company, yes. But a properly functioning HR department, however, knows that the best way to protect the company is to make the employees happy with their jobs. Protecting toxic/abusive managers who create a hostile working environment hurts the company. Protecting the employees from bad managers helps the company. If toxic managers are being protected instead of disciplined/dismissed, then HR is not working properly (HR does not work properly at a lot of companies).

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