Print 44 comment(s) - last by blwest.. on Aug 24 at 2:08 PM

Pirate our software, lose your job

Think Secret reports Apple retail store employees have been axed for illegally acquiring developer builds of Apple’s unreleased Mac OS X Leopard operating system. Mac OS X Leopard was given out to developers at Apple’s WWDC event earlier this month and leaked out to the public.

previously reported on leaked screen shots of Mac OS X Leopard earlier today too. The Apple retail store employers obtained a leaked copy and were overhead discussing the matter with other employees. The discussion was overheard and Apple corporate investigated the matter after word had reached Apple’s office in Cupertino, CA.

The employees were immediately fired after admitting to obtaining the illegal software. Obtaining illegal copies of Apple software is a clear violation of Apple’s terms of service, or TOS, for retail store employees. Furthermore, the Apple employees had also signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) about upcoming software, which resulted in a second infraction.

The dismissed employees, when questioned, responded with "All of us know that we violated our NDA and ethics policy. Therefore, because we had the character to tell the truth and to face the consequences of our actions, we were terminated," said one of the fired employees, who spoke with Think Secret on condition of anonymity. "My only question is, if we all lied and denied it would we still be working at Apple today? Even more so, is that the kind of person that Apple wants working for them?"

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By Helbore on 8/23/2006 3:07:44 PM , Rating: 3
Whilst I agree entirely that Apple had every right to fire the employees, I don't agree that it was a smart business decision. Good management is not about rigidly following the rules. All disciplinary cases should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

If these employees had been caught out distributing copies of the software or supplying information to journalists or competitors, then an immediate dismissal would have been appropriate. If they had lied about obtaining the software, then there would be good reason to fire them. However, they were overheard discussing the product with co-workers and reported. They then admitted to the allegation, instead of trying to cover their backsides. If they were acting against Apple, they would have kept schtum. The fact that they didn't suggests we were dealing with Apple fanboys who were eager to play with the latest and greatest.

Now I'm not saying they shouldn't have been disciplined for this action. They clearly broke conditions of their contracts, but summary dismissal is not the only disciplinary action that can be taken. They could have been placed on report, had their pay docked, suspended without pay, forfeited annual pay rises, bonuses or commission. There were many other options that would have punished them for the actions. As it stands, this seems more like a management knee-jerk reaction intened to make an example to other employees.

It was sure within their rights, but out of proportion for the particular incident.

By rushfan2006 on 8/24/2006 12:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your opinion, after all that is the part that makes forums "great" (yes its a relative -- we all get to speak our minds. My opinion though is wholly in disagreement with yours and everyone's who has the same mindset.

Like I mentioned already -- your opinion is the carebear approach. For some offenses yes you give alternative discipline -- but not for stealing company property and voiding a contract you made with the employer. Again for everyone to understand "NOT for STEALING *company* PROPERTY *AND* VOIDING the CONTRACT between you and your EMPLOYER"...I have to assume for the folks that don't grasp this that you are very young and/or have little to no real life exposure to the business world yet -- and certainly no HONEST understanding of things like contract law. And sorry guys, quoting defintions from simple dictionaries or from google searches offers little to no value at all in real legal standings to a case like this if it was brought before a court. To assume this, or your pre-stated care bear approach as several of you outlined here in various posts only shows that you are naive and/or ignorant to the real business world or perhaps you just aren't old enough to have the work/business experience yet to comprehend such things.

I'm not saying such things is your fault...just proposing reasons why you may not fully understand.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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