Cher Scarlett has organized staff at Apple, Activision Blizzard, and Starbucks.
64 Facts About Cher Scarlett
Cher Scarlett filed complaints against Apple with the National Labor Relations Board and US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cher Scarlett has successfully lobbied for labor laws in Washington state.
Cher Scarlett advocated for Apple shareholder proposals regarding civil rights and concealment clauses, the first to be approved by the company's shareholders in more than 10 years.
Cher Scarlett was born in Walla Walla, Washington, and grew up in Kirkland with her mother, who worked in construction.
Cher Scarlett said she grew up poor, coming from generational poverty in a family of farm laborers that settled in Eastern Washington descended from the Volga Germans.
Cher Scarlett attended Juanita High School in the early 2000s, and says she earned a nearly perfect score on the SAT.
Cher Scarlett was interested in science and video gaming, and says she wanted to be a scientist and go to space after being a junior astronaut and studying biotechnology while in school.
Cher Scarlett taught herself to code during middle school, creating a website for her guild in EverQuest and continued experimenting with web development on the blogging platform LiveJournal.
Cher Scarlett later provided information to federal authorities that led to the arrest of one of the perpetrators in 2018.
Cher Scarlett worked in the service industry, including working "overnights" at Krispy Kreme, while her daughter was young.
In 2007, Cher Scarlett worked briefly in a web development position at a real-estate firm.
Cher Scarlett worked as a freelance developer until 2011, when she was recruited as a web developer at USA Today, where her manager referred to her as a "talented developer".
In 2015, Cher Scarlett was hired as a software engineer at Activision Blizzard and worked on their Battle.
Cher Scarlett encouraged others to come forward, helped direct them to the agency, and later supported a walkout.
Cher Scarlett outed the unnamed chief technology officer from the lawsuit as Ben Kilgore in a series of tweets, claiming he had been the subject of numerous complaints about inappropriate behavior, some of which had been reported to authorities years earlier.
Cher Scarlett spoke about what she said was improper handling of a 2018 incident when she outed one of Overwatch League's unpaid moderators for previously hoarding and distributing revenge porn.
Cher Scarlett joined World Wide Technology in 2016, working there until 2017, when she was recruited at Starbucks as a lead software engineer, where she worked remotely from Greater St Louis, Missouri.
Cher Scarlett became the most vocal, public-facing advocate for workplace issues at Apple, where employees previously rarely spoke to the media, especially about the company's "unprecedented" secretive culture.
Cher Scarlett was credited for inspiring others to speak out, but was criticized for breaking the company's unwritten rules, such as not speaking unsolicited about Apple publicly.
Cher Scarlett said that while hundreds of people asked for help with concerns around pay equity, discrimination, and restrictive remote work policies, she was accused of ruining the company's culture.
Cher Scarlett requested medical leave in September 2021, saying that harassment from colleagues began to affect her mental health.
Cher Scarlett said that while discussing her request, Apple asked her to stop discussing the company publicly tweeting that executives said she was "giving them a lot of headaches".
Cher Scarlett said she felt forced to comply, and was granted paid time off instead of medical leave.
On November 19,2021, after briefly returning to work, Cher Scarlett quit, later alleging she was isolated, intimidated and retaliated against, after filing National Labor Relations Board and US Securities and Exchange Commission complaints against the company.
In May 2021, Cher Scarlett tweeted that she was "gutted" by the hiring of Antonio Garcia Martinez, and that she "believe[d] in leadership to do the right thing".
Cher Scarlett edited a letter that a group of employees had drafted to send to management, which spoke out against the hire as not being aligned with Apple's diversity and inclusion policies and made a list of demands.
Cher Scarlett said she was contacted by the company's public relations department, who seemed only interested in suppressing bad publicity.
Cher Scarlett gave a quote to CNN, saying she "trust[ed] in Apple's culture", but the hire was "starkly contradictory" of her feelings.
Cher Scarlett helped to lead employees in organizing to be allowed to continue working remotely.
Cher Scarlett tweeted about the importance of remote work for disabled employees, caregivers, and workers from poverty.
Cher Scarlett encouraged some colleagues to request accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to continue working from home.
Cher Scarlett later tweeted a medical release form she was given, which gave the company access to medical records normally protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which made Scarlett and other employees uncomfortable.
Cher Scarlett said the group received over 600 stories from employees.
On September 1,2021, Cher Scarlett filed a charge with the NLRB, alleging that Apple had violated the law in stopping employees from discussing their salaries and gathering data to examine racial or gender-based wage gaps.
Cher Scarlett tweeted that the affirmation was one of four demands she had sent to the company on September 2,2021.
Cher Scarlett posted the stipulated notice, but only during the week of Thanksgiving, which Apple had given the entire company off.
Cher Scarlett additionally filed charges for retaliating against employees and for constructive dismissal, which as of April 2022, were being investigated.
In January 2023, the NLRB determined 3 of Cher Scarlett's charges had merit.
Cher Scarlett refused at the time, but later said in a proxy statement to the SEC, which recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal, that it would add the language to all separation agreements in the United States.
Cher Scarlett received one of five payments of a $213,000 severance package, and received notice Apple would not be paying her attorneys, or making future severance and COBRA payments, because she "repeatedly" breached her NDA.
The letter stated Apple was "preserving its right to seek liquidated damage for each separate breach", to which Cher Scarlett said, "I don't have anything for them to take".
Cher Scarlett ran a GoFundMe campaign to pay her attorneys' fees.
Cher Scarlett filed a retaliation complaint with the SEC, which is reportedly being investigated, along with her previous tip, after eight state officials urged the agency to look into Cher Scarlett's allegations.
Cher Scarlett is on the Tech Worker Committee of The Solidarity Fund, an emergency fund for Apple and Netflix workers involved with organizing.
Cher Scarlett connected the workers with her Starbucks WU contact, and on February 22,2022, Fruit Stand Workers United voted to affiliate with WU.
Cher Scarlett joined game studio ControlZee in March 2022 to work on a game called dot big bang, a game creation platform that allows users to build multiplayer video games.
Cher Scarlett said users were "trying to be proactive in being more safe, but actually making [themselves] more vulnerable".
Cher Scarlett filed charges with the NLRB against both companies, which as of April 2022, were being investigated.
Cher Scarlett said that she "let go of other prospects" because it was "such a great match".
Epic said that recruiters were aware of her labor advocacy work prior to interviewing her, but Cher Scarlett later clarified in a tweet that the form was reviewed by senior leadership, and that's what her concern was.
Cher Scarlett has called for scrutiny and regulation of facial recognition software.
In January 2022 Cher Scarlett tweeted a photograph that Facebook's FRS had thought was her, but was really her great-great-great-grandmother, and indicated that such activities were dangerous and off-putting.
Curious if the site would give images of her relatives, Cher Scarlett found some photos of her and matches to similar-looking individuals such as Britney Spears and Jamie Lynn Spears, but no photographs of any of her relatives.
Cher Scarlett filed complaints with the Washington State Attorney General's office in January 2023.
In 2021, Cher Scarlett was assisted by Ozoma in lobbying for legislation in her home state of Washington similar to the Silenced No More Act, a bill Ozoma worked on with California lawmakers that prevents employers from silencing whistleblowers.
Cher Scarlett worked with Senator Karen Keiser and House Representative Liz Berry on bills presented to the Washington State Senate and Washington House of Representatives in the 2022 Washington State Legislature session.
Cher Scarlett testified in support of the bill a second time, on February 17,2022, after the bill was passed through the House.
Cher Scarlett argued that confidentiality clauses make "corporations the judges and juries of their own wrongdoing".
In 2022, Cher Scarlett lobbied for SB 5761, a bill that requires employers with 15 or more employees to post salary information on its job postings, including for internal transfers for existing employees.
Cher Scarlett had relocated while she was at Apple and requests for her new compensation were unanswered until after she moved.
Cher Scarlett testified in support of the bill on February 16,2022, and spoke about her own wages being suppressed during her career because her past employers asked for her salary expectations, instead of sharing what the role paid.
Cher Scarlett said that underrepresented groups are often not in a position to negotiate, and the "veil of secrecy" around compensation results in wage gaps.
Cher Scarlett is active on Twitter, where she is known for her advocacy for marginalized groups.