A former Apple engineer claims the company turned against its customers and employees after co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs died.
The former engineer, Darren Eastman, made the allegations in a lawsuit against the Cupertino-based company.
Eastman is representing himself in the case. He wants Apple to recognize him for his role in creating the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature. Furthermore, Eastman wants compensation for an early dismissal from the company. Specifically, he’s seeking the return of 735 Apple shares allegedly taken from him, $326,400 USD ($421,891 CAD) in damages, $32,640 USD ($42,189 CAD) in interest and $5,000 USD ($6,426 CAD) in attorney’s fees.
Eastman began working for Apple in 2006. He was brought on by Jobs, who was interested in Eastman’s idea for a low-cost Mac for education.
In the lawsuit, Eastman said that Jobs told Eastman to notify him of any unresolved problems with the company’s products. Furthermore, employees were generally expected to raise such concerns.
After Jobs, Apple terminated employees for raising concerns
Eastman alleges that changed after Jobs passed in 2011. Instead, he says talented employees were regularly disciplined and terminated for raising concerns Jobs had expected them to raise.
“Notifying Mr. Cook about issues (previously welcomed by Mr. Jobs) produces either no response, or, a threatening one later by your direct manager,” Eastman said.
Eastman also alleged that Apple timed the exit of its workers carefully. The company reportedly fired employees just before the end of its fiscal calendar. According to Eastman, this meant compensation for the current year’s work, which included stocks that may have taken multiple years to vest, was not granted.
Eastman also alleged that the stock could be reallocated to other employees and managers. In essence, it was a bonus for managers who terminated staff.
Finally, Eastman claims Apple routinely pushes out untested product updates that cause more problems than they solve.