Apple can’t avoid a lawsuit in which it’s accused of canceling a contract with a janitorial service because the owner is a woman, reports Bloomberg.
In a “tentative” ruling in California state court in San Jose, Judge Cynthia Lie ruled that the conduct alleged in the lawsuit — which includes an Apple manager referring to the service’s female owner, Darla Drendel, as a “typical woman in business” who “thinks she is assertive, but she’s just pushy” — was enough to allow the case to proceed to trial, the article adds.
The original complaint, Industrial Janitorial Service v. Apple Inc, was lodged in a California state court in 2019 and accused the Cupertino-based company of sex bias in its decision to terminate its contract with the plaintiff. Here’s the backstory:
In 2013, Apple signed a contract with Industrial Janitorial Service (IJS) to clean around 40 Apple stores for US$215,000 a month. However, by year’s end, the number of stores was reduced to five and the contract eventually canceled.
Around mid-2013 managers of some Apple retail stores purportedly learned that the service was selling some of the unpaid invoices to a third-party broker. Apple usually made the payments at a delay of three to four months.
In 2017, Apple was informed of $1.5 million of unpaid invoices, but it purportedly terminated the contract instead.
IJS’s website describes the company as a “family owned and operated nationwide corporation” with hundred of clients and which has been servicing businesses for over 46 years.