Aug 042015

invasion-of-privacyThe Problem

AT&T has recently begun asking its employees to “Review” a new policy which requires reporting on- and off-duty misconduct. We feel this policy vastly intrudes into the personal, private lives of our members and their families. Because AT&T has made their policy “AT&T Proprietary (Restricted),” we are not allowed to reproduce it here, but we can tell you that, depending on where you live and what your job-title is, you may be required to report any involvement with law-enforcement, even jaywalking(!) whether or not you are even guilty. Even if it happens off the clock, on your own time and even if you are innocent! In this policy, AT&T warns that, even before it is determined that you are guilty of the offense, regardless of what the offense is or whether it took place on or off the clock, AT&T may still terminate you.

Imagine a scenario where you are in a dispute with a neighbor or with your ex; as can sometimes happen, police are called and charges are filed against you, right or wrong. Often, cooler heads will later prevail and charges are dropped. However, if you work at AT&T, you are required to report all misconduct, upon pain of termination! So, now AT&T management knows all about the incident, which may involve your family, you, your neighbors, etc. If AT&T decides that the situation could affect the Company, or your work, AT&T may fire you even though the charges were dropped/dismissed!

Your Local is attempting to get more information from AT&T on why it needs so much sensitive personal information about its employees’ personal lives, and potentially the lives of their families. We believe that AT&T should have submitted such a draconian policy to the CWA leadership during the just-completed bargaining so that the Union would have a chance to bargain this important issue on behalf of its members. Instead, AT&T just completed bargaining with CWA District 4 without ever mentioning that it wanted so much access into the personal lives of CWA families, and that our jobs would be on the line subject to the whim of HR.

Help us fight this..

We strongly urge our members to decline to review this policy. If your supervisor orders you to do so, politely refuse and ask your supervisor if it is mandatory. If your supervisor says that it is mandatory, then comply with your supervisor’s direction and immediately file a grievance through your union steward.

  5 Responses to “Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not If You Work At AT&T”

  1. While I vehemently disagree with their policies, the Code of Conduct has required employees to report ANY arrest (immediately) for years, regardless of if it resulted in charges being filed or any subsequent convictions. Verizon only requires notice of convictions.

    • Yes Janine, SBC (yes SBC, don’t forget who you work for), added this to COC back in the 90’s, along with DMV pulls. As a rep, I remember a few members getting a paid vacation , but even that is no relief for the anxiety that is created as they complete their investigation. Good luck with this but that train left the station years ago.

  2. And no one has come forward, with Lawsuits or Litigation, backed by the ACLU or the Unions, CWA etc.
    Filing on protections of Civil Rights or violations of Constitutional Laws; That are afforded to all American Citizens…As a shield from Big Brother or Big Business..

    If an occupation at AT&T requires, sensitive clearances such may be required by the Government in installations or in other areas of Business, for Security purposes to be maintained;
    Than an employee may have to adhere to certain standards or background checks;
    And normally has to agree to those conditions or invasions of one’s privacy, to retain that position.
    The majority of jobs at telephone companies, do not involve those conditions.
    So wake up AT&T, and take a stand Employees of, if not now…You will have no rights down the road.

  3. We have had the COBC in the former Bellsouth for years with this exact language. I have had two fired…I was able to get one back after 18 months who was wrongly charged with domestic violence..The other was a mobility RSC who got a DUI leaving a panthers football game..He lost his job for not reporting it and we did not prevail..

  4. Is it possible to find Employee COBC/Policy/Rule online anywhere?

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