A little over a week ago an Apple employee took the spotlight for being fired from his job due to a ‘rant’ on Facebook. Due to what many, including the employee, saw as an unfair dismissal, the internal policies from Apple were ‘leaked’ and provide some insight that puts Apple in a much better light.
First off, these internal papers cover almost all of the employee’s social interactions including blogging, social networking, leaking information, propagating rumors, and much more. From Tweets to simply talking with friends, each response they say must be in accordance with Apple’s policy else they could face severe consequences.
As Apple stated to its employees: “remember there may be consequences to what you post or publish online including discipline if you engage in conduct that Apple deems inappropriate or violates any Apple policies.” Apple also said “be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks. The lines between public and private, and personal and professional are blurred in online social networks.”
So what exactly are the policies that Apple employees have to obey and why do some think they are so strict?
Well the entire packet that contains all of these policies is incredibly long but here are some points taken from it:
– Can have their own websites but cannot have a website that is related to Apple products or that speaks about Apple in any way shape or form.
– Cannot comment on Apple or Mac sites for any reason whether they identify themselves as Apple employees or try to remain anonymous.
– Cannot talk about products, give out any information on stores, or propagate rumors in any way.
– Apple uses HRCCC which stands for Honesty, Respect, Confidentiality, Community, and Compliance.
So are those rules really so bad? Are they really so different from any other company? Many people were shocked to hear that the man was fired due to speaking out on Facebook, however the employee ranted on Facebook negatively about Apple when he knew full well what Apple’s policy was. On top of that, other businesses hold very similar policies as well.
Would McDonalds tolerate their employees talking about them negatively in a blog or site? Would a grocery store allow workers to spread false rumors, or rumors of any kind, about them? The answer is no. Now, understandably those smaller companies don’t really police their employee’s personal lives to such an extent, however the rules are still the same.
For those who claim that getting let go was too harsh of a punishment, it really was justified though. It wasn’t like he just said one small thing to the wrong employee, he ranted on Facebook for all of his contacts to see.
You can read the entire internal policy for Apple on employee work standards in the link below as it is a good read and interesting to see they were leaked shortly after this incident. What would be even more interesting is to see if similar companies such as Microsoft and Google have policies that mirror Apples…