Megan Moore had spent five years of her career at Apple when a male co-worker tapped her in 2013 after spending a platonic night drinking together.
After the female colleague led her home and helped her inside, she fell asleep briefly before being woken by the clicking sound. The female colleague had taken off her shirt and bra. He was taking pictures and smiling.
Mohr previously had a bad experience with Human Resources – known internally as Apple’s People Group – when another colleague broke into her accounts and harassed her, prompting her to file a police report. She said HR didn’t listen well and didn’t help in any way, so this time she didn’t care. “I was afraid of retaliation and realized HR wouldn’t look after my best interest,” she says.
But inspired by the #MeToo movement, Mohr decided in late 2018 to tell Apple about the illicit photo incident. She had no evidence and did not ask for an investigation. I just thought HR should be aware of a person’s personality and asked not to put them in the same department.
Moore thought this was a modest request, but the email seen by the Financial Times quickly turned stern and defensive. The HR representative showed little empathy or experience in dealing with sexual misconduct. He likened her experience to a “minor traffic accident” to explain how Apple couldn’t really get involved.
HR wrote: “Although what he did was reprehensible as a person and possibly a criminal, as an Apple employee he did not violate any policy in the course of his work at Apple.” “Because he has not violated any policy, we will not prevent him from searching for job opportunities that are in line with his goals and interests.”
Mohr did not ask to punish the associate, knowing that she could not prove her allegations. But to her surprise, HR noted that the evidence wouldn’t really matter anyway.
Unfortunately, the incident was not in the context of Apple’s work [so] HR told her that it is very likely that the Apple investigation will lead to “no results” and no discipline will be issued.” “Even if the perpetrator admitted to taking the photos.”
One HR professional with 25 years of experience, who declined to be named, describes the response as “shocking,” adding that in their experience, “such behaviors often come from a culture, not out of nowhere.”
Mohr quit her job at Apple as a fraud prevention specialist in January, after 14 years, frustrated by its bureaucracy, culture of secrecy and what she saw as fewer opportunities for women. Now she’s asking Apple to take a closer look at its policies. “I just want Apple to be the company that pretends to be for its customers,” she says.
a matter of priorities
In interviews with 15 female Apple employees, current and former, the Financial Times found that Mohr’s frustrating experience with the People Group has echoes in at least seven Apple divisions spanning six US states.
Women shared allegations of Apple’s indifference in the face of allegations of misconduct. Eight said they experienced retaliation, while seven found HR disappointing or counterproductive.
This story is based on those interviews and discussions with other employees, internal emails from Apple’s People team, four termination contracts written by attorneys for Apple, and anonymous employee reviews.