NLRB Judge Finds T-Mobile US Guilty of More Labor Law Violations

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Company told worker who filed sexual harassment complaint that she could be disciplined or fired for discussing the case with anyone

 Judge’s latest findings in Maine and South Carolina are in addition to multiple, national violations cited five months ago

Washington, DC -- Nearly five months ago, an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found T-Mobile US guilty of multiple violations of US labor law. Yet, instead of rectifying its illegal corporate policies, the company continues to break the law.

On Monday, another ALJ found that T-Mobile illegally prohibits its employees from discussing the terms and conditions of employment with their co-workers and others. At locations in at least South Carolina and Maine, the company had been requiring employees to sign a confidentiality agreement whenever it conducted an internal investigation.

This practice was exposed as particularly egregious in Maine, where a customer service representative filed a sexual harassment complaint with the human resources department. T-Mobile forced her to sign the form and agree not to discuss the complaint with anyone. The employee was told explicitly that if she discussed the situation with her co-workers she could face discipline and termination.

T-Mobile refuses to own up to its lawbreaking. In March, an ALJ ruled that T-Mobile’s nationwide policies violated labor laws and workers’ rights by blocking employees from even talking to each other about problems at work. The company has not appealed nine of the 11 violations, but has taken no  action to rescind its illegal policies and inform all 46,000 employees about policy changes, as the ALJ ordered.

Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Chris Shelton has been using every opportunity to have members of Congress weigh in on T-Mobile’s systematic campaign to deny workers their right to organize and bargain collectively. Last week, 20 House Democrats sent a sharply-worded letter to Timotheus Höttges, CEO of T-Mobile’s German parent company Deutsche Telekom, demanding that the company take “swift and immediate action to come into compliance with US labor law.” Lawmakers are also adding their names to a petition urging the German Bundestag, or parliament, to use its shareholder power to pressure Deutsche Telekom into enforcing international labor standards at its locations abroad.

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Contact: Candice Johnson or Kendra Marr Chaikind, CWA Communications, cjohnson@cwa-union.org or kchaikind@cwa-union.org , 202-434-1168