Legal, Medical, & Support for Apple Whistleblower

Hi. My name is Cher Scarlett.
 
Last summer, I reported Apple to the Federal Government for repeated reports of workers being told not to discuss their wages and not to participate in employee-run voluntary wage transparency surveys.
I also built a platform to allow workers to tell the stories that were piling up in my inbox about their experiences at the company. This left me jobless, broke, and saddled with attorneys fees and medical bills from being uninsured.
 
I am asking for financial assistance in paying $21,979.57 in attorneys fees to Levy Ratner and $5,515.60 for Evergreen Hospital and Evergreen Emergency services, along with the 2.9% fee that GoFundMe collects for a total of $28,314.
 
I do not need additional funds for other expenses at this time, thanks to the kind donations of folks around the holidays that will cover my bills and food until I start my new job in non-profit at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in February.
 
I started my career in 2007 as a recovering addict and single mom living in poverty who dropped out of high school, but eventually landed what I thought was a dream job at Apple in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple, in my eyes, was the one place in Big Tech I could go to and feel good about the company I was working for... I thought it was the exception to the issues around ethics, union busting, and a corporate culture that intimidates and coercively silences employees from standing up against injustices. I was wrong.
 
I left the company right before Thanksgiving in 2021, without another job lined up. I had come to an agreement with them after months of fighting over a handful of things, including demanding that they address my the allegations in the National Labor Relations Board charge I filed about their shutting down employee-run wage surveys and discouraging discussions about compensation. They agreed to post a company-wide notice in the form of a tile on the United States people site affirming employees' legally-protected rights to discuss compensation and other working conditions internally and externally, which was the most we could hope fo through the NLRB, and could avoid those who gave me evidence and testimony having to choose whether or not to go on the record under oath with the federal agency. This notice was only left up for the week of Thanksgiving, which of course, is a week they give the entire company as paid time off, which while technically was compliance, as there was no required timeframe to leave it up, it certainly violated the spirit of the agreement .
 
During my fight for the affirmation notice, I was initially offered a separation agreement that suppressed my rights to speak and organize with other Apple employees, and worse, demanded the list of witnesses from me. I, of course, did not oblige. This came after they asked me to stop talking about them publicly on the same day I requested Medical Leave for an extremely dangerous bipolar disorder episode -- an episode that was triggered by the hostile work environment -- a request they rewarded me with PTO I hadn't earned. They told the SEC and shareholders a few days later that they didn't need an audit into their use of confidentiality clauses because they don't use them to silence employees who experience or witness unlawful conduct. I sent the agreement they sent me, along with a timeline of what I saw them do over the course of the previous 6 months. I also sent it confidentially through a partner Nia Impact Capital, and again to a journalist who had a handful of others they could use to write a story refuting Apple's statements without being outed. Some unfortunate circumstances threw a wrench in the publishing of that story, and no one willing to go on the record with their NDAs with any outlet.
 
My agreement afforded me a year's worth of COBRA and severance, split between myself and my attorneys, in exchange for releasing my personal claims with the company. I received a quarter of it, and was faced with a decision. Let Apple go free or take another one for workers and give up my chance to pay off my more than $100,000 of poverty debt and start building a retirement fund? I handed over the agreement to Business Insider , Reuters, and Forbes, on the record, to ensure shareholders had data to make an informed decision. I also disclosed myself as Nia's source. I knew that Apple would consider this to be a breach and withhold the remaining payments, including what would be due to my attorneys. I felt lucky that I had received anything at all to help me make it my next job. I am saddened that I didn't get to accomplish my original goal of finally being in the black, but for me, it wasn't a choice. The truth needs to be told, and while I desperately need the money, I am not a person whose integrity is for sale. No amount is enough.
 
Apple, as I expected, sent a letter to my attorney informing me that they would not be paying the remainder of my severance, paying the attorneys, covering my COBRA payments, and additionally, let me know they would sue me if I continued to breach the agreement. I had just tested positive for COVID the week before (yes, I'm vaccinated!), causing my daughter and I to be exiled from family gatherings for the holidays, was overwhelmed by harassment and defamation, struggling to find a job matched by expectations that wasn't spooked by what I'd done at Apple, and now, Apple was threatening to sue me. My head hurt, my body hurt, my heart hurt... everything hurt. I bought a Percocet from a friendly street pharmacist to help with all the pain and it turned out to be laced with Fentanyl, presumably a large amount of it, because I overdosed . I was lucky that we had a Narcan nasal spray, which is an opioid blocker, in the car in case we see someone overdosing when we do community work for the homeless that saved my life, along with 8 minutes of CPR, a 911 dispatcher, several first responders, and an overnight stay at the ER.
 
Every little bit helps, and I appreciate your time and consideration.
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Organizer

Cher Scarlett 
Organizer
Kirkland, WA

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