Apple sent a message to its employees on Friday that they were striking because of its reputation for secrecy: a reminder that workers can discuss wages, hours, and working conditions.
There were some employees who have been pushing Apple to do more to make sure there aren't unfair gaps in pay across the company.
According to a copy of the message viewed by Reuters, Apple said its policies do not preclude employees from speaking freely about working conditions.
We encourage employees with concerns to raise them in the way they feel most comfortable, internally or externally, the post states.
According to Apple's business conduct policy, workers are not restricted from being able to discuss wages, hours and working conditions, which is generally protected under U.S. law.
The employees who have spoken out in recent months have faced resistance, said former Apple program manager Janneke Parrish.
Parrish, who was fired after playing a leading role in employee activism, said she is hopeful that Apple's message will ease the path for others.
She said that the first step is to make sure people are aware of their rights.
Apple is committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace, despite the fact that it does not discuss specific employee matters. The move comes amid a larger push by Silicon Valley workers to speak out about their working conditions and the impact of technology on society.
Another prominent activist, Apple software engineer Cher Scarlett, wrote on Twitter that she is leaving the company.
Scarlett filed a lawsuit with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that Apple halted discussions of pay among employees. Her lawyer, Aleksandr Felstiner, said the matter had been settled and the charge would be withdrawn. Scarlett said she could not make a statement.
Scarlett and Parrish worked together on AppleToo, a group through which current and former employees have been sharing stories of harassment and discrimination.
Apple is known for its secretive culture, which is intended to keep details of new products under wraps. Parrish said that they had the right to speak about topics such as pay and working conditions.