What's Up With Apple: Fired Employee Hits Back, MacBook Sales, and More

A former Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) program manager has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board charging that Apple illegally fired her last month. Janneke Parrish filed the charges against Apple and CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday.

According to a report in the New York Times, Parrish said in her complaint that “Apple had fired her to ‘nip in the bud’ her organizing efforts” for an employee group known as #AppleToo.

Reuters reported that Parrish said in an interview last month that she was told she was being fired “for deleting material on company equipment while she was under investigation over the leaking of a company town hall to media.” Parrish denied leaking the material.

Parrish’s complaint is the third high-profile action against the company over the past few months. Senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik was put on indefinite paid administrative leave in August following concerns she raised “about years of experiences with sexism, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, and retaliation.” Gjøvik was fired in September.

Another #AppleToo organizer, software developer Cher Scarlett, is on paid medical leave from the company. In a Washington Post story published last month, Parrish called Scarlett “a deeply inspiring figure.”

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple ranked fourth in notebook PC shipments for the third quarter of this year. Lenovo (with a 23% share) ranked at the top, followed by HP (21%), Dell (18%) and Apple (10%). Dell posted a stunning year-over-year market share increase of 50%. Apple’s share increased by 10% year over year, while Lenovo’s share rose by 5% and HP’s fell by 5%. Apple shipped 6.5 million MacBooks in the September quarter.

Some 66.8 million notebooks were shipped during the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 8%. Analyst Chirag Upadhyay commented: “It’s worth noting that the shortage of components and rising prices for manufacturing and freight costs also delayed some orders for many vendors. In other words, shipments could have been even higher.”

Briefly noted:

A Chinese court reportedly has awarded a Chinese website $1.87 million in damages in a case that charged Apple with making certain literary works “unlawfully available in the Chinese App Store.” According to a report in Pandaily, “Apple failed to fulfill its obligations to screen and take proper measures about the allegedly infringing App Store application where the unlicensed literary works at issue were unlawfully made available. The failure of reasonable care has constituted copyright infringement.”

The U.S. District Court in San Francisco has agreed to hear Apple’s appeal to stay an injunction that would force the company to allow in-app payments for App Store apps from non-Apple vendors like Epic Games. The hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, November 9. The injunction is set to take effect on December 9.

Apple has added the fourth-generation iPad, first released in 2012, to its vintage and obsolete products list.

One last legal issue: Apple attorneys have asked a federal court to reject a subpoena for live testimony from Eddy Cue, senior vice president for services. The plaintiff is charging Apple with an antitrust violation for refusing to add a coronavirus-tracking app to the App Store because the app was not linked to a government, hospital or university.