Labor board deems parts of WeWork’s employee handbook “unlawful”

Workers told to ask themselves “how would I feel if it made headlines in news outlets”

New York /
Aug.August 26, 2016 02:40 PM

UPDATED, Aug. 26, 4:23 p.m.: The National Labor Relations Board has found sections of WeWork’s employee handbook to be unlawful, according to a source familiar with the decision, but has not filed a complaint with an administrative law judge (yet).

The board argues that several provisions within the 22-page handbook are unlawful. One section the board takes issue with is titled “Do the right thing” and tells employees in considering whether an action is inappropriate they should ask themselves “how would I feel if it made headlines in news outlets,” among other things. It also flagged a section titled “outside activities,” which tells employees not to pursue them if they “create a conflict of interest that may interfere with the objective exercise of judgment in the best interest of WeWork TRData LogoTINY.”

“They have an employment issue and that’s something a summer camp can’t fix,” said Seth Goldstein, the attorney who filed the charges against WeWork with the NLRB.

In response, a WeWork spokesperson said, “Our employees are our lifeblood and we firmly believe our policies are both lawful and fair.”

A spokesperson for the NLRB declined to comment. The board has no jurisdictional authority, but can choose to file a complaint with an administrative law judge.

The finding comes as the co-working company faces increased scrutiny over its employment guidelines and contracts. In July, the NLRB filed a complaint over the case of Tara Zoumer, a former WeWork employee in San Francisco, who claims she was fired for refusing to sign an arbitration agreement and forfeit the right to join class-action lawsuits. In that case, the Board argues that the agreement violates U.S. labor laws. Also in July, WeWork sued a former employee for allegedly leaking internal documents to Bloomberg News.

Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed that the NLRB files charges with federal courts.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)
Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
WeWork’s side businesses are fizzling
WeWork’s side businesses are fizzling
Sarah Pontius (Credit: Union College)
Another head rolls at WeWork
Another head rolls at WeWork
WeWork's Sandeep Mathrani (Getty; Illustration by The Real Deal)
Short sellers make their move on WeWork
Short sellers make their move on WeWork
From left: A photo illustration of Industrious' Jamie Hodari, IWG founder Mark Dixon, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani (Getty, Industrious, IWG, WeWork)
The 10 largest co-working operators of 2022
The 10 largest co-working operators of 2022
Alex Sapir, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani, Adam Neumann and 261 Madison Avenue (Getty, 261 Madison Avenue via Sapir Organization)
Sapir: WeWork hiding behind shell companies in lease dispute
Sapir: WeWork hiding behind shell companies in lease dispute
WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani (Getty)
WeWork’s bleeding continues as firm cuts 40 locations
WeWork’s bleeding continues as firm cuts 40 locations
Joel Schreiber, WeWork’s first investor, under fire on multiple fronts
Joel Schreiber, WeWork’s first investor, under fire on multiple fronts
Joel Schreiber, WeWork’s first investor, under fire on multiple fronts
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...