Apple Store in Pennsylvania hit with discrimination complaint

Ex-worker claims African-American shoppers were targeted

A former Apple Store employee has accused the Cupertino giant's retail arm of racial and religious discrimination.

Cori Fisher, who worked at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Apple Store from 2010-2016, said he witnessed management at the Center City Apple Store asking security to remove a group of African-American teenagers from the store and then instructing employees to closely monitor other African-American guests who entered the store.

"Specifically, after Plaintiff observed a store manager ask a police officer to tell African-American teenagers to leave the store," the complaint [PDF], filed to the Eastern Pennsylvania District Court, stated.

"Plaintiff complained about Defendant's instructions to employees to closely monitor African-American customers and to ask African-American customers to leave the store. All of the store managers told employees to closely monitor African-American customers, which concerned Plaintiff."

The complaint alleges that, after he complained about the discrimination to management in February of 2016, he was fired. Fisher says that while Apple cited an unspecified December, 2015 incident for the termination, he believes he was fired both for his complaint as well as his religious beliefs (as a Seventh Day Adventist). He also had a pair of cancer bouts that put him on disability leave previously.

He is suing Apple for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Civil Rights Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Apple has yet to file a response to Fisher's complaint with the court. The company did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

While still in its very early stages, the suit could prove to be embarrassing to Apple, as a company that has fancied itself a leader in the push for better diversity and equal rights in the tech industry. ®

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