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IBM Arbitration Gag Rules Are Illegal, Fired Workers Say

Nov. 18, 2021, 1:49 AM

International Business Machines Corp.’s confidentiality rules about arbitration violate federal workplace law, two former employees alleged in labor board complaints.

In Wednesday filings with the National Labor Relations Board, ex-employees Jeffrey Rodriguez and Steve Apana wrote that IBM’s “forced arbitration” policy includes a broad secrecy requirement that violates the National Labor Relations Act, which protects employees’ right to communicate with each other about workplace issues and organize to address them. Their complaints also accused the company of “engaging in oppressive and threatening tactics in litigation and arbitration” and “enforcement efforts intended to suppress” legally-protected activism.

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