- WeWork, a $16 billion global startup that offers co-working office space, has run afoul of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding the former's arbitration clause mandate for employees, according to Business Insider.
- Tara Zoumer, an ex-WeWork employee, claims she was fired after complaining about possible labor violations and refusing to sign WeWork's arbitration agreement.
- The use of arbitration clauses is on the rise among smaller employers, after being used initially by larger companies. According to Business Insider, WeWork can settle the matter before a formal complaint is filed by the NLRB, but that likely won't happen.
WeWork had little to say to Business Insider, other than: "This charge has no merit. Our employees are our lifeblood and we firmly believe our policies are fair and lawful. "
Zoumer worked for WeWork as an associate community manager and said she was a victim of violations of California's labor code. She claimed she was given no overtime or meal breaks because she was misclassified as exempt from overtime. When she complained to WeWork managers, they told her not to discuss it with coworkers. She claims WeWork made all US employees sign what she and her attorney, Ramsey Hanafi, believe is an "unlawful mandatory arbitration agreement." Zoumer would not sign and was subsequently fired.
The NLRB sees such arbitration agreements, especially the ones related to class-action lawsuits, in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, but federal courts are split on the issue, meaning it will likely be decided by the Supreme Court. Hanafi told Business Insider he doesn't expect a settlement offer from WeWork any time soon.