Apple affirms employee rights to discuss working conditions externally

What you need to know

  • Apple has posted an internal memo to employees.
  • The company affirmed its employees' rights to talk about working conditions internally or externally.
  • Apple is currently facing seven unfair labor practices charges.

They've always been allowed to do it.

Apple has sent a memo to its staff that affirms their right to talk about work conditions and pay internally at the company or even externally if desired.

In an internal memo obtained by NBC News, Apple says that its employees are not prohibited from talking about "wages, hours, or working conditions" internally or externally.

The note was posted on Apple's internal people site, to which the company's 80,000 hourly and salaried employees in the U.S. have access.

"Our policies do not restrict employees from speaking freely about their wages, hours, or working conditions," the memo reads. "We encourage any employee with concerns to raise them in the way they feel most comfortable, internally or externally, including through their manager, any Apple manager, People Support, People Business Partner, or Business Conduct."

The memo echoes language in Apple's business conduct policy, which says that nothing in the rule "should be interpreted as being restrictive of your right to speak freely about your wages, hours, or working conditions."

Veena Dubal, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, said that the memo is a win for workers but still shows how easy it is for companies to get away with violating labor law.

"This is a win for workers because it shows that Apple knows they would have lost had this been adjudicated. But it also underscores how little the law deters unfair labor practices, and how little workers can get when their rights to organize are violated."

Eight labor violations have been filed against Apple since August.

Tags
Technology