U.S labor board says some T-Mobile policies are illegal

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(Reuters) – The U.S. National Labor Relations Board ruled that certain labor policies of wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc were unfair, including some practices that discouraged workers from organizing.

NLRB Judge Christine Dibble said an order on Wednesday that several provisions in T-Mobile’s employee handbook, code of conduct, confidentiality agreement and form asking employee’s to comply with unlawful rules were unfair labor practices.

Dibble ordered Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile to “revise or rescind the unlawful rules, and advise its employees in writing” about the violations.

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Employees of T-Mobile and its MetroPCS business had said company policies, such as those prohibiting workers from complaining about work conditions, exchanging information on wages and discussing details of internal investigations, were illegal. The NLRB consolidated the complaints in April.

The case against T-Mobile’s policies was led by the Communications Workers of America, a union representing workers in industries such as telecommunications, and cable. The CWA had said T-Mobile’s policies restrained employees from organizing.

T-Mobile’s 45,000 employees across the are unionized. The CWA has been trying to organize the company’s work force.

The judge ruled that 11 of the 13 corporate policies brought forth in the case were illegal, the CWA said.

A T-Mobile spokesman said the judge’s decision involved “a technical issue in the law that relates to policies that are common to companies across the country.” He said there were allegations that the policies had affected any employee.