Apple’s workplace rules violate US labor law, agency says

Apple maintains workplace policies that unlawfully discourage employees from discussing working conditions, a US labor agency has found.

The National Labor Relations Board will file a lawsuit targeting politicians and claiming that Apple executives made comments that prevented workers from organizing unless the company settled down first, an official said Monday. from the agency in an email reviewed by Reuters.

The official had sent the email to Ashley Gjovik, a former Apple senior technical director who filed complaints against the company in 2021.

The NLRB investigates accusations made by workers and unions and decides whether to file formal complaints against companies. The agency may seek to override workplace policies and require employers to notify workers of violations of the law.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The company said it takes workers’ complaints seriously and investigates them thoroughly.

A spokeswoman for the NLRB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gjovik in an email Tuesday said she hoped the development would inspire more Apple workers to talk about working conditions and organize.

In its complaints, Gjovik said various Apple rules, including those relating to privacy and monitoring policies, discouraged employees from discussing issues such as pay equity and gender discrimination with each other and with the media.

Gjovik also cited a 2021 email from Apple CEO Tim Cook that allegedly sought to block workers from speaking to the press and said “people who leak confidential information have no place here. “.

Many tech companies have strict privacy policies designed to protect trade secrets.

US labor law prohibits policies that may discourage workers from exercising their right to organize to improve their working conditions.

Apple is facing several pending complaints from the NLRB, including one alleging the tech giant unlawfully forced workers at an Atlanta retail store to attend union-busting meetings. Apple has denied any wrongdoing.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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