Critics — including Pando — have used various words to describe Apple’s now-overturned ban of employing accused felons from construction work on their new campus. Words like discriminatory and illegal.
Now we can add one more word: Hypocritical. At least according to Michael Devine, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark wage-fixing lawsuit against Big Tech firms like Apple, Google, Intel and Intuit.
Speaking to Pando yesterday, Devine argued that Apple’s ban on hiring suspected felons is at the very least ironic given the suit brought by him and his fellow plaintiffs “revealed clear and ample evidence that multiple current and former Apple executives committed felonies in their conspiracy to suppress competition for tech talent.”
Devine has long been outspoken in his criticism of Apple. He was one of the major dissenting voices over the original settlement figure; it was thanks to Devine’s dissent that the companies had to come back with a higher offer, adding $ 90 million to the final settlement, which now stands at $ 415 million. Devine’s class action wage-theft lawsuit against the Big Tech firms grew out of a Department of Justice antitrust division investigation into the Techtopus — the Big Tech and Hollywood firms’ wage-fixing conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which can carry both civil and criminal penalties. Ultimately the DOJ settled with the firms, paving the way for what turned out to be the first ever successful wage-theft class action lawsuit under the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Apple announced at the end of last week that it had rescinded its hiring ban on felons and those with pending felony charges, which as we reported was not only horrible policy but also quite possibly illegal and in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, according to legal experts and sources in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission I spoke to last week.
Here’s what Devine told me yesterday:
I was especially outraged at the hypocrisy of Apple’s discrimination against convicted felons given that we revealed clear and ample evidence that multiple current and former Apple executives committed felonies in their conspiracy to suppress competition for tech talent.
Devine is not the only one outraged. Yesterday we reported that the former head of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, is publicly calling on Apple to both redress all the workers unfairly harmed by Apple’s hiring ban, and to take the lead in ending employment discrimination against the tens of millions of Americans with criminal records.