For better or worse, there are some major differences between applying to PhD programs and applying for industry jobs, that mean that treating an application for a PhD spot like an application for a job probably won't work.
For one thing, in the US normally you are applying to a graduate program, rather than a specific lab. While it helps a lot to have a clear idea of what groups you want to work for, being admitted to a graduate program is not a guarantee that you will be able to work with a specific group.
For another thing, you are applying for an educational program, not a job. The goal is not just for you to produce, but to learn. This has a lot of implications, but relevant to your question, if you apply, receive an offer, and reject the offer to stay in your current job, there can be a perception that you are not serious about pursuing further education, which can color how your application will be viewed (should you apply again).
Finally, the laws of supply and demand are not on your side. There are more graduating BS and MS students every year looking for PhD slots, then there are PhD slots. Furthermore, while there are people who leave to go to industry and return, the "typical" path is to go to a PhD shortly after finishing a BS or MS degree. So if you apply, receive an offer, and then reject the offer, there is not an incentive to offer you another spot.
Therefore, I think that if you want to avoid potentially burning bridges, you should only apply if you think you want to go to school instead of remaining in industry.
In terms of power dynamics: fundamentally there is a power imbalance when you get a PhD, in a way there probably isn't in a typical industry job, because you are the one seeking a PhD. You will need to commit to one group for at least 3-5 years to make enough progress to get the PhD. It's very hard for you as a student to change groups, and if you do this will only set back your own timeline. Therefore, unlike in industry, the (implicit or explicit) threat that you could leave to go somewhere else, does not carry as much weight for PhD students in academia. Any PI will have certain resources available based on funding, there is a standard package you will get as a student, so you can't really bargain with your current salary. The bargaining chips that carry weight, are things that give you ability to produce high-impact research and win grants. But, if you are applying as a PhD student, you probably don't have already those things; you may have the promise to learn enough to do such things, but a typical PhD student is in the role of an apprentice being groomed.
As practical advice, I think you should use your academic network. Talk to the professors whose groups you work with about what it is like to do a PhD with them. Ask to talk to their PhD students. Maybe you could try to arrange spending a month in their lab, like an internship (of course I don't know how this would work with your company). Maybe the PIs can provide contacts for groups at institutions where you want to get a degree. I think you can learn a lot from talking to these groups before you apply about what to expect.
IMPORTANT CAVEAT This advice about your academic network is assuming that you feel comfortable reaching out to your academic collaborators without jeopardizing your current role. This may not be a safe thing to do, particularly if you are a junior person on your team, since (a) the faculty may tell your boss that you are thinking of leaving your job, and (b) there could be agreements between your collaborators and your employer that they are not supposed to "poach" current employees. I can't judge how likely (a) and (b) are in your case. There are usually agreements like (b) if two companies work together, but I don't know if that is true for academic collaboration. If you don't feel safe directly talking to people you work with about this, then you can find a lot of general advice about what a PhD is like online, including on this site, for example Advice for thinking about whether to pursue a PhD
Philosophically, I think that if you really want to do a PhD, you can't look at it as a normal job. You have to look at it as fulfilling your passion for a subject by pursuing it deeply at the highest level. This often means making sacrifices in terms of pay, work-life balance. That's not to say there aren't ways to manage a healthy work-life balance as a PhD student, but it's not a job where you can expect to work 9-5 and get everything done. To be successful, rather than negotiating power dynamics between you and your PI, you should focus more on finding a group that will intellectually match your interests and on learning how to be a successful researcher. Now... I am not passing a value judgment on whether these attitudes are a good or bad thing. I am just saying that this is the prevailing culture in academia, which you should be aware of before deciding to purse a PhD.