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Apple workplace guidelines violate U.S. labor law, report

Apple CEO Tim Cook

American tech giant Apple’s workplace policies unlawfully discourage its employees from discussing working conditions, according to a US labor agency. According to a Reuters report, the National Labor Relations Board will issue a complaint targeting the policies.

The case revolves around a complaint filed by a former Apple employee named Ashley Gjovik, in 2021, who made accusations against the tech giant saying that the company’s work rules ban employees from discussing wages and employment conditions.

The NLRB carries out probes against charges filed by employees and unions and then decides to issue a formal complaint. It can also strike down workplace policies and ask employees to inform about any legal violations. Apple has said it takes worker complaints seriously and thoroughly investigates them.

In an email reviewed by Reuters, Gjovik said she hoped the development will enable more Apple workers to speak up about working conditions and to organize. Gjovik has complained about the company’s rules related to confidentiality and surveillance policies and also those which deter employees from discussing issues such as pay equity and sex discrimination, as per reports. Gjovik claimed, in an email, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook had asked workers to refrain from speaking to the press and said “people who leak confidential information do not belong here.”

US labor law prohibits policies that could discourage workers from exercising their right to band together to improve working conditions.

Apple is already facing multiple pending NLRB complaints. One of them claims that a tech giant unlawfully required workers at an Atlanta retail store to attend anti-union meetings. Apple has dismissed the claim.

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