Apple Must Face Sex-Bias Lawsuit Over Janitorial Contract, Court Rules

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has received a setback in a lawsuit filed against it for allegedly terminating a janitorial contract on grounds that the owner of the business was a woman, Bloomberg reported.

What Happened: Judge Cynthia Lie at the California State Court in San Jose, in a tenative ruling Wednesday, said that the conduct alleged in the lawsuit filed by Industrial Janitorial Services alone sufficed to proceed the case forward, according to Bloomberg.

An Apple manager reportedly referred to Darla Drendel, the owner of the janitorial business, as a “typical woman in business” that “thinks she is assertive, but she’s just pushy.”


Why It Matters: Back in 2013, Apple signed a contract with Industrial Janitorial Service to clean around 40 Apple stores for $215,000 a month, but by the end of that year, the number of stores reduced to five and the contract ultimately ended in 2017, the lawsuit states, as per Bloomberg.

The issues arose around mid-2013 when managers of Apple stores got to know that the service was selling some of the unpaid invoices to a third-party broker. Apple usually made the payments at a delay of three to four months, the lawsuit has alleged.

In 2017, the Tim Cook-led company was informed of $1.5 million of unpaid invoices, but it purportedly terminated the contract instead.

Price Action: Apple Inc. shares closed 0.13% higher at $462.83 on Tuesday, with an intraday high of $468.65. The consumer electronics giant became the first company to have a $2 trillion market cap the same day.

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