Female Apple Employees Sue, Alleging Systemic Pay Discrimination

Two female employees have filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc., alleging that the company systematically pays women less than their male counterparts for comparable work. The lawsuit, filed in California state court, seeks to represent thousands of women who may have experienced similar discrimination.

The plaintiffs, Justina Jong and Amina Salgado, claim that Apple’s practice of asking employees for their salary history to determine starting salaries before 2018 perpetuated historical pay disparities between men and women. They allege that after California outlawed this practice, Apple shifted to asking for salary expectations, which further entrenched the pay gap.

“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, an attorney representing the employees, stated.

Glimpse of a W-2

The lawsuit also alleges that men at Apple routinely receive higher scores on teamwork and leadership in performance reviews, resulting in lower bonuses and pay for women. Jong reportedly discovered that she was being paid approximately $10,000 less than a male colleague after seeing his W-2 form on the office printer.

A representative for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the lawsuit.

Lawsuits alleging pay discrimination against women in the tech industry have sometimes resulted in substantial settlements, although these settlements can often amount to relatively small sums per person. The lawyers representing Jong and Salgado have previously filed similar claims against Oracle Corp. and Google, winning average per-person payouts of $3,750 and $5,500, respectively, after legal expenses.

12,000 employees

Jong and Salgado filed the lawsuit on behalf of over 12,000 current and former female employees working in Apple’s engineering, marketing, and AppleCare divisions in California. Both women have been employed by Apple for more than a decade, according to the complaint.

Salgado reported the pay disparity to Apple on “a number of occasions,” but despite conducting its own investigation, the company did not raise her salary until a third-party probe concluded that a pay gap existed between her and her male counterparts. According to her attorneys, she did not receive back pay.

Jong and Salgado are seeking unspecified wages that they claim they are owed.

The suit was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The case is titled Jong v. Apple, California Superior Court, San Francisco County.