Apple has been sued by a former employee for alleged discrimination. Shaune Patterson says that she was wrongfully terminated from the company because she was a Lesbian. Formerly employed by Apple as a human resources compensation consultant, she has filed suite in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. The amended complaint, filed on May 16, 2005, alleges that Shaune Patterson was suspended for one month and then subsequently wrongfully terminated from her position, after she complained that her white counterparts, who were junior to her, were making higher salaries than she was. Patterson alleges that the suspension came one day after she complained of racial discrimination.
Patterson has amended her complaint to include claims of sexual orientation and genetic characteristic discrimination. Prior to her one-month suspension, Patterson alleges that one of Apple’s managers wrote a memo describing her as a “rather obese-sized black lesbian.” According to Patterson’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, “Apple discounted my client’s achievements, choosing to base the decision to discipline not on her performance, but rather on her size, race, and sexual orientation.” McCoy was the lead plaintiffs’ attorney in one of the largest U.S. History racial discrimination suit, Carroll v. Interstate Brands Corporation, which rendered a verdict for $133 million in August of 2000.