CWA Wins Settlement in Dispute about T-Mobile’s Social Networking Policy

Another win for freedom of speech!

In February 2011, CWA filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB against T-Mobile USA over the company’s restrictive and overly broad policies against employees’ freedom to discuss workplace issues on social networking sites (learn more here).

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board settled CWA’s charge against T-Mobile, before the case went to trial. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile is now required to inform all of its employees that they will revise their Social Networking Policy so that workers may discuss work related issues on Facebook and similar websites without fear of reprisal.

The Notice to employees states that Federal Law gives workers the right to:

“Form, join or assist a union
Bargain collectively through a representative chosen by employees
Act together with other employees for your benefit and protection
Choose not to engage in any of these activities”

Further, the Notice states:

“WE WILL NOT do anything that interferes with these rights. More specifically,

WE WILL NOT maintain or represent that our Social Networking Policy prohibits employees from disclosing or commenting on legal matters or proceedings or controversies relating their employment.

WE WILL NOT in any similar way interfere with your rights under Federal Law

WE WILL delete from the archives on the One Voice intranet site the August 16, 2010 posting announcing our Social Networking Policy.”

District 1 Counsel Gay Semel, who handled the case, said: “This case confirms that workers’ rights to discuss their terms and conditions of employment are protected by the National Labor Relations Board on the Internet as well as at the workplace. T-Mobile workers now know that T-Mobile cannot arbitrarily take these federally protected rights away.”

This case highlights T-Mobile’s ongoing attempt to silence voices that have articulated workplace issues here on this website, on our worker forum, on our Facebook page, our Twitter account (@realtmobile) and other places. However, this settlement shows that workers voicing concerns, in the workplaces and on the Internet is a protected concerted activity, protected by Federal Law.

So keep those comments coming!