Apple Bans Internal Slack Channel Focused on Pay Equity

Apple has banned an internal Slack channel focused on pay equity.

According to a new report from The Verge, the Cupertino company has stopped attempts to create an internal Slack channel dedicated to the discussion of pay equity, with the measure coming as employees begin to organize around a number of claimed workplace issues.

An internal memo to employees, viewed by the outlet, said the topic was “aligned with Apple’s commitment to pay equity,” but it violated the company’s Terms of Use for Slack.

“Slack channels are provided to conduct Apple business and must advance the work, deliverables, or mission of Apple departments and teams,” the memo read, according to The Verge. However, the publication noted that other channels devote to non-work topics, like dogs, gaming, foosball, and dad jokes, are active with large membership on Apple’s Slack.

Employment attorney Vincent P. White speculated that Apple is using the Slack Use of Terms as a way to shield itself legally, as employees are protected by law to discuss pay equity issues.

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.

It’s the latest example of the company cracking down on workers’ attempts to openly discuss differences in pay at Apple.

Last week, a group of employees built a website called AppleToo inviting colleagues to submit stories of discrimination and harassment. According to the organizers’ Twitter account, the common denominator of the stories was being dismissed by HR at Apple.

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