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Department of Labor Investigating Apple Over Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

The United States Department of Labor will investigate allegations that Apple retaliated against an employee who blew the whistle on company wrongdoing.

The whistleblower is Ashley Gjovik, a former senior engineering program manager. Gjovik had originally complained she was subjected to frequent harassment and unsafe working conditions while she worked for Apple.

Case background

Apple fired Gjovik in September, alleging she leaked confidential information. However, Gjovik claims these are false allegations, and a made-up pretext for firing her after she complained to higher-ups about issues she was having within the company.

Gjovik’s concerns about unsafe working conditions centered on toxic waste located under her office. She was contacted in September from the Apple Threat Assessment and Workplace Violence Team asking to discuss an intellectual property issue. Gjovik said she was happy to help but wanted everything done via email and in writing so she could not be misrepresented.

Gjovik never learned what the matter was—the company fired her for failing to cooperate with the investigation, and her termination letter included accusations that she disclosed confidential product information, but went into no further detail.

She believed the move by Apple was retribution for her public comments on workplace harassment, Apple’s “excessive” surveillance of its employees, a “culture of secrecy” within the company and widespread issues regarding hazardous waste in Silicon Valley. Regarding the hazardous waste, Gjovik believes the presence of that waste is at the root of issues she started having with her heart and blood pressure.

Apple released a statement saying the company was “committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace.”

If you believe you were a victim of whistleblower retaliation or wrongful termination, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group to discuss your legal options.

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