Apple Takes Workplace Harassment To New Realm

Antonio Garcia Martinez would not gain entry to my inner circle because he seems immature and misogynist.

But should Apple, Inc. fire him as a product engineer on Apple Inc.’s advertising platform on the basis of my feelings, without any evidence that Martinez engaged in illegal harassment on the job?

The answer is no.

Yet, Apple Inc. has effectively banished Martinez from its ranks after only a few months on the job because Apple workers objected to passages in Martinez’ 2016 book about his work as a product manager at Facebook, Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley.

Under the law, a hostile workplace is one where an employee or employees are victims of severe and pervasive “unwelcome conduct” based on a protected characteristic (i.e. sex, race). A few offensive comments generally don’t suffice, let alone one or two overheated passages from a six-year-old book.

If Apple didn’t offer Martinez a hefty financial incentive to voluntarily resign, it may find itself in court in the near future.

Tolerance

The most objectionable passage in Martinez’ book appears to be his contrast of his then-girlfriend – a guerilla type cartoon character taken right out of a video game – with “most” women in Silicon Valley, whom he characterized “soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit.”

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