Inside Apple, your job classification can mean a lot. The difference between a “level 4” engineer and a “level 5,” for instance, could mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. And those titles help determine how much Apple employees can make when they leave the company for another job. But there’s a hitch. From a report: In widely used databases that companies refer to for verification of job information, Apple changes the job title for every employee, whether they’re a PhD in computer science or a product manager, to “associate,” the company confirms. Apple’s approach is bizarre if not unique, experts in employment practices say, but until now has gone largely unnoticed by anybody but a handful of job applicants whose resume conflict with official databases maintained by job verification services run by companies such as Equifax and Lexis-Nexis. The title “associate” is generally used to connote more junior roles. Entry-level retail workers, for instance, are often called associates. Law firms refer to recent law school hires in the same way, and in universities, associate professors are ranked below those with the title “professor.” Further reading: SEC Looking Into Apple’s Use of Nondisclosure Agreements, Whistleblower Says.
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