An Apple employee has filed suit against the company claiming that racism led to his promotion denial.
Andrew Dupree, 31, of Orlando, Fla., says in the suit that he took his concerns about African-Americans being denied opportunities for advancement all the way to CEO Tim Cook, but that he was ignored and left with no choice but to take his case to court.
A complaint filed Dec. 18 with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and obtained by Radar Online details management’s alleged preference for white employees.
Dupree also claimed that a manager once told him that “Black employees don’t reach management in this market.”
“When I was in the Orlando store under the supervision of [redacted], senior manager, she had made a statement prior to me transferring to Australia that Blacks in the Orlando location don’t have a chance to make it to management,” the document reads.
“I did not express my concern to management at that time because I was transferring to Australia.”
He then dramatically increased the results of the tech giant’s “Easy Pay Program,” which encourages shoppers to make in-store purchases from their Apple devices, from 1.4 percent of total sales to 14 percent after arriving in Sydney, he said.
Dupree believes those results merited a promotion.
“I did numbers myself and then I trained employees. I wrote a full synopsis to make it a sustainable goal for entire store,” said Dupree.
He decided to return to the U.S. after a year down under, but was rebuffed by the Orlando store.
“I was not given a job, despite being told that I was going to be given a transfer, because of one manager’s racism,” insisted Dupree.
Dupree took his claims directly to the top, asking on August 28, 2013, via email, for a meeting with Cook, but was instead offered a talk with two human resources representatives the following month.
That meeting finally happened in October 2013, but nothing came of it, said Dupree, leading to him filing his lawsuit.
“I filed my complaint because of what I have seen and heard in my market,” he said. “You hear it so much that you get numb to it.
‘Then I tried to move up the ladder and nothing happened. I watched people around me who did less work getting promoted and none of them were Black. The last straw was when my manager destroyed my chances of moving up.”
An Apple spokesperson told Radar Online that the company responded to his claims earlier this month but offered no further comment.
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