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US National Labor Relations Board Prosecutors determined that certain Apple policies Violate Workers' Rights


The US National Labor Relations Board prosecutors have deemed comments made by Apple Inc. executives including Apple's CEO on policies imposed on employees to be and violate workers’ rights. The agency’s investigations stemmed from cases brought in 2021 by former employees Ashley Gjovik and Cher Scarlett. Scarlett accused the company of maintaining work rules that “prohibit employees from discussing wages, hours, or other terms or conditions of employment.”

Gjovik, a senior engineering program manager, was fired by Apple in September 2021 after filing complaints with several state and federal agencies. In documents shared by Gjovik, Apple claimed she was terminated for violating policies such as the disclosure of confidential product information.

According to a Bloomberg report, "The NLRB general counsel’s office has determined that “various work rules, handbook rules, and confidentiality rules” imposed by the tech giant “tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees” from exercising their rights to collective action, spokesperson Kayla Blado said Monday.

In addition, she said, the agency “found merit to a charge alleging statements and conduct by Apple — including high-level executives — also violated the National Labor Relations Act.”

Unless Apple settles, the board’s regional director will issue a complaint against the Cupertino, California-based company, Blado said in an email.

Complaints issued by NLRB prosecutors are reviewed by administrative law judges, whose rulings can be appealed to labor board members in Washington — and, from there, to federal court. Yet the agency lacks the ability to impose punitive damages or hold executives personally liable for violations, but can order companies to change workplace policies.

Gjovik said yesterday that it was her hope "that for the first time Apple is told by the government that this culture of secrecy is not OK. I also hope that this sends shockwaves through other corporations that even Apple can be held accountable.”

For more, read the full Bloomberg report.

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