The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Apple broke US labor laws. This is because they sent an email to employees warning them not to leak confidential company information. This decision was reported by Bloomberg today.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a statement regarding this. It says that Apple’s rules regarding leaks and statements from high-level executives “tend to stop, control or pressure employees” from using their rights given to them by the National Labor Relations Act.
The NLRB’s decision refers to an email sent by Apple CEO Tim Cook in November 2021. In the email, Cook stated that individuals who leak confidential information about Apple are not fit to work at the company. It does not matter whether it is about “product intellectual property. Or confidential meeting details.” He also mentioned that the company was making an effort to find out who was responsible for the leaks. The following is an excerpt from Cook’s email:
Cook’s Email That Broke the US Labour Law
“I’m writing today because I’ve heard that so many of you were incredibly frustrated to see the contents of the meeting leak to reporters. This comes after a product launch in which most of the details of our announcements were also leaked to the press.
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I want you to know that I share your frustration. These opportunities to connect as a team are really important. But they only work if we can trust that the content will stay within Apple. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to identify those who leaked. As you know, we do not tolerate disclosures of confidential information. Whether it’s product IP or the details of a confidential meeting. We know that the leakers constitute a small number of people. We also know that people who leak confidential information do not belong here.”
Cook’s email was not about a product leak. It was for employees who talked about a meeting about equal pay, working from home, COVID shots, and other topics.
Apple Can End Up at the Federal Court for Breaking the US Labor Law
The NLRB says Cook broke workers‘ rights with what he said. Apple has to work things out with the NLRB to avoid a problem. The NLRB can’t punish companies on its own. But complaints made to the NLRB can be looked at by judges and might go to federal court where the rules can be changed.
The NLRB said that Apple broke federal law last year by making employees attend anti-union meetings. Another one was asking questions that pressured employees at stores in Atlanta and New York.