Apple banned a pay equity Slack channel but lets fun dogs and dad jokes channels remain

Crushing internal communication channels about pay equity while leaving open chats dedicated to Foosball and dad jokes may not bode well with employees... or lawyers.

Apple has reportedly barred employees from creating a Slack channel to discuss pay equity. In response to being asked why, a member of the employee relations team, Apple’s version of HR, said that while the topic was “aligned with Apple’s commitment to pay equity,” it did not meet the company’s Slack Terms of Use.

Slack channels are provided to conduct Apple business and must advance the work, deliverables, or mission of Apple departments and teams,” the employee relations representative told employees.

Apple’s Slack Terms of Use say channels for activities and hobbies that aren’t related to official employee clubs or diversity networks aren’t allowed. But the rules seem to be selectively enforced with other channels allowed to thrive.

For reference, just a few of the active internal Slack channels reported are:

  • fun-dogs: 5k members
  • gaming: 3k members
  • fun-cats: ~3k members
  • dad-jokes: 2k members
  • remote-work-advocacy: 7k members

Discussing pay equity is a protected activity under federal, state, and local law,… Everyone agrees on that. For them to try and impair employees’ ability to discuss pay equity and diversity in the workplace is a clear cut act of retaliation.

Vincent P. White, Employment Attorney

Organizations who think that censoring these discussions internally is a good idea, may find themselves in not only in an expensive legal battle, but a culture war the likes that seems to be unfortunately brewing at Apple.

Read more from the source: The Verge, Published by: Zoe Schiffer

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Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology and others in the USA as well as iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.


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