A U.S. labor agency found that Reuters-Apple Inc. maintains workplace policies that don't discourage employees from discussing working conditions.
A National Labor Relations Board official said on Monday in an email reviewed by the National Labor Relations Board that Apple executives made comments that stymied worker organizing unless the company settles first.
The NLRB investigates charges filed by workers and unions and decides whether to issue formal complaints against companies. The agency can try to strike down workplace policies and require employers to notify workers of legal violations.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment. The company takes worker complaints seriously and thoroughly investigates them.
An NLRB spokeswoman did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
In an email on Tuesday, Gjovik said she hoped that the development will spur more Apple workers to speak up about working conditions and to organize.
In her complaints, Gjovik said that Apple rules, including those relating to confidentiality and surveillance policies, deter employees from discussing issues such as pay equity and sex discrimination with each other and the media.
According to Gjovik, a 2021 email from Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook that allegedly tried to stop workers from speaking to the press, and said people who leak confidential information do not belong here. Many tech companies have strict confidentiality policies designed to protect trade secrets.
The U.S. labor law prohibits policies that could discourage workers from exercising their right to band together to improve working conditions.
Apple is facing several pending NLRB complaints, including one that the tech giant required workers at an Atlanta retail store to attend anti-union meetings. Apple has denied wrongdoing.