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Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of TU Members

25 Aug, 2017

We're pleased to report that earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed 11 guilty findings in a case arguing that many rules in the T-Mobile handbook are illegal. The court also found T-Mobile guilty of maintaining a rule that unlawfully bans all types of recordings in the workplace. This confirms that the rule in our employee handbook prohibiting employees from using their phones to take photographs or to make audio or video recordings without permission from a supervisor or manager is not legal.

The case started way back in 2013, when CWA and T-Mobile workers filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), saying that more than a dozen rules in the T-Mobile employee handbook were illegal. In March 2015, an NLRB administrative law judge ruled T-Mobile was guilty of nationwide labor law violations. The company's unlawful rules included prohibiting employees from disclosing their employee handbook to third parties, requiring employees to take their wage and hour complaints only to T-Mobile's management, and prohibiting employees from disclosing the details of any internal investigation to anyone. In 2015, the Judge ordered T-Mobile to rescind a total of 13 work rules and inform all of its employees that it had done so, but the company appealed two of those guilty findings. The company did not have to comply with the Judge's order on the remaining guilty findings until all appeals in the case were closed.

The good news is that now that the appeal process is complete, in the coming few weeks, T-Mobile will be required to comply with the ruling, rescind all of its unlawful work rules, and post a notice at all affected facilities ensuring employees that the company will no longer interfere with their rights.

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