Apple just banned a pay equity Slack channel but lets fun dogs channel lie

Apple has banned employees from using Slack to discuss pay equity. Apple's employee relations team member, Apple's version of HR, stated that the topic was in line with Apples commitment towards pay equity but did not comply with the company's Slack Terms.
The employee relations representative explained to employees that Slack channels were provided for Apple business. They must be used to advance the work, deliverables or mission of Apple teams and departments.

According to company rules, Slack channels that are not related to Apple Employee clubs (DNAs), or Diversity Network Associations(DNAs) should not be used.

However, this rule is not always enforced. Apple employees currently have Slack channels for discussing #fun-dogs (more that 5,000 members), #gaming (3000+ members) and #dad-jokes (2K+ members). The company approved the channel #community-foosball on August 18. The channels for cat and dog are not part in official clubs. They were created specifically to discuss non-work activities.

Retaliation is a clear act

Vincent P. White, an employment attorney, says invoking the Slack terms might be used to block discussion of workplace pay disparities. However, doing so would be against labor law. White says that discussing pay equity is protected under federal, state and local laws. This is a fact that everyone agrees with. It is clear that they are trying to stop employees from discussing pay equity and diversity at work is a form of retaliation.

Apple employees have been discussing pay equity for the past few months. Multiple surveys that were designed to collect data about how much employees earn have been shut down by Apple. Cher Scarlett (Apple engineer) started one survey that was apparently allowed to continue. Early analysis revealed a 6 percent gap in the wages of women and men who took part in the survey.

Organisers want to provide a forum for employees to discuss their pay issues. Although Apple has previously stated that it does not have a problem with pay equity, employees are skeptical. Recent actions by Apple, such as closing down pay surveys and banning the Slack channel for pay equity, have only increased those suspicions.

According to one source, Apple's Terms of Use are very useful in preventing employees from communicating freely.

The Verge asked Apple for comments but did not receive an immediate response.