In a statement Apple Inc has told its employees that it is willing to discuss wages, number of working hours and working conditions. The development comes at a time when striking employees are pushing Apple to do more to ensure there are no unfair pay gaps across the company.
In a message posted on its internal site Apple said, its policies do not preclude employees from “speaking freely” about working conditions.
“We encourage any employee with concerns to raise them in the way they feel most comfortable, internally or externally,” reads the post.
Apple’s spokesperson declined comment.
Apple’s message is in addition to its business conduct policy which already includes language stating that workers are not restricted in their ability to discuss wages, hours and working conditions, which is generally protected under U.S. law.
Despite this policy, in recent months employees who have spoken out have faced pushed back, said former Apple program manager Janneke Parrish.
Parrish, who was fired after playing a leading role in employee activism, said she is hopeful that Apple’s message will ease the path for others.
“The first step is making sure people are aware of their rights,” said Parrish.
Previously Apple has stated, it does not discuss specific employee matters and is “deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace.”
The development comes at a time when there is a broad push by Silicon Valley workers to speak up on their working conditions and the impact of technology on society.
Earlier this week, Cher Scarlett, an Apple software engineer, tweeted she is leaving the company.
Incidentally, Scarlett has filed a complaint against Apple with the National Labor Relations Board alleging Apple halted discussions of pay among employees.
According to her lawyer, Aleksandr Felstiner, the matter had been settled and the charge would be withdrawn.
Scarlett said she could not comment. Apple is known for its secretive culture aimed at keeping details of its new products under wraps.