Apple has fired senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik for allegedly violating the company’s rules against leaking confidential information. For months, Gjøvik has been tweeting openly about allegations of harassment, surveillance, and workplace safety.
“When I began raising workplace safety concerns in March, and nearly immediately faced retaliation and intimidation, I started preparing myself for something exactly like this to happen,” she says. “I’m disappointed that a company I have loved since I was a little girl would treat their employees this way.”
Gjøvik has raised concerns that her office is in an Apple building located on a superfund site, meaning it requires special oversight due to historical waste contamination. She also says that she faced harassment and bullying from her manager and members of her team. More recently, she’s begun raising privacy concerns related to Apple’s policies on how it can search and surveil employees’ work phones.
Sooo, #Apple has pics of my boobs. During a discovery thing 3yr ago, legal forced me to hand-over all my texts. They refused to let me delete anything, even “fully personal,” even when I said “by fully personal I mean nudes.” They said they’re in their “permanent evidence locker”
— Ashley M. Gjøvik (@ashleygjovik) August 19, 2021
She was placed on administrative leave in early August while Apple investigated some of these concerns — a placement she says she requested as a last resort.
A member of Apple’s employee relations team reached out to Gjøvik earlier today saying the company was looking into a sensitive intellectual property matter and wanted to speak to her within the hour. Gjøvik said she wanted to keep all communications in writing, and noted she was forwarding the correspondence along to the NLRB, where she recently filed a charge. The employee relations representative responded to say that because she had chosen not to participate in the discussion, they would move forward with the information they had and — “given the seriousness of these allegations” — suspend her access to Apple systems.
Hours later, Gjøvik received an email that her employment at Apple was being terminated, effective tomorrow.
In response to a request for comment from The Verge, Apple spokesperson Josh Rosenstock said: “We are and have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace. We take all concerns seriously and we thoroughly investigate whenever a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters.”