A legal battle between a whistleblower and tech giant Apple has taken an unexpected turn with the filing of a RICO Act lawsuit.
This lawsuit sheds light on allegations of retaliation against a former Apple employee and opens an important debate about labor rights and privacy in the workplace.
The Context of the RICO Lawsuit
In September 2021, Ashley Gjovik, a former Apple employee, was fired from the company under allegations of intellectual property disclosure policy violations.
This dismissal marked the beginning of a series of legal actions that have kept Gjovik and Apple in a constant legal confrontation.
With the two-year statute of limitations for potential civil lawsuits about to expire, Gjovik has filed a lawsuit against Apple under the RICO Act to keep his claims alive.
The Legal Journey of Ashley Gjovik
The two years after Gjovik’s dismissal were marked by a series of legal battles.
These included a victory in an unemployment insurance appeal and an initial merits decision related to whistleblower retaliation charges brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Additional claims have also been filed against Apple, including violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the CERCLA Act, and the OSH Act, as well as charges related to Apple’s employment policies and NDAs.
The Unexpected Movement: RICO Lawsuit
On Friday, Gjovik raised eyebrows by filing a RICO lawsuit against Apple.
This lawsuit includes claims related to whistleblower retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts, which are under the jurisdiction of federal courts.
Gjovik explained that he withdrew the SOX charge from the Department of Labor (DOL) due to the agency’s continued obstruction and perceived extortion attempts.
Additionally, the California DOL case has been moved from the state agency to the civil case, allowing the action to continue.
Key Arguments in the RICO Lawsuit
The lawsuit is filed in California, even though Gjovik is based in New York, due to specific claims related to California.
These claims include the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act, California Labor Codes, and the Bane Civil Rights Act.
Additionally, the Ralph Civil Rights Act and its application in work situations are mentioned.
Privacy, Statutes and More
The lawsuit also addresses concerns about statutory limits and privacy. Gjovik highlights that the two-year legal limit could affect his dismissal claim and argues that Apple’s justification for his termination constitutes a “serious violation of California law.”
The right to privacy is a crucial issue in the lawsuit, and Gjovik highlights how employees have the right to protest privacy violations, even if they previously gave their consent.
In addition, violations of the FTC Law are mentioned and Apple is sought to recover products manufactured using personal data of employees without consent.
An Evolving Legal Battle
The filing of this RICO lawsuit marks a new chapter in the legal fight between Ashley Gjovik and Apple.
As details of the lawsuit unfold in court, the case is expected to shed light on important issues related to labor rights, workplace privacy and the legal implications of whistleblower retaliation.
Apple has yet to comment on this lawsuit at this early stage, meaning the legal battle is far from over.