GEICO settles allegations of illegal anti-union activities




GEICO settles allegations of illegal anti-union activities | Insurance Business America















The company has agreed to some practices recommended by the board


Insurance News

By
Jonalyn Cueto

GEICO, one of the largest auto insurance companies in the United States, has settled allegations by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that it engaged in illegal anti-union activities, including threatening and interrogating employees in upstate New York about their unionization efforts.

As part of the settlement, GEICO has agreed to post a notice informing employees of their rights under federal labor law and to comply with those laws. This notice will include a series of commitments such as “WE WILL NOT tell employees that they will get on GEICO’s radar if they fill out union authorization cards.” The settlement was approved by the NLRB in April, following a complaint filed in October 2022 by a regional director of the agency.

According to a Bloomberg report, the original complaint detailed a series of alleged anti-union activities by GEICO’s management. According to the NLRB’s complaint, the company, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, engaged in surveillance of labor activism, discouraged employees from unionizing by calling them “dreamers”, and encouraged employees to call the police if contacted by pro-union coworkers. Additionally, GEICO issued a social media policy that, according to the complaint, interfered with workers’ rights to organize.

In October 2023, a year after the filing of the complaint to the NLRB, GEICO United organizer Lonnie Konikoff stated in an email that the company’s actions made organizing difficult. The NLRB found merit to charges of unfair labor practices per GEICO United’s comments in that email.

Despite these allegations, GEICO noted that several claims were withdrawn or dismissed and stated that the settlement was intended to avoid additional time and cost expenditure. In a statement emailed to the Press, GEICO said: “GEICO fully respects the federally protected rights of our associates under the National Labor Relations Act. We are pleased to have settled this matter.”

Currently, none of GEICO’s facilities are unionized, and GEICO United, the employee-led group driving the unionization campaign, has not yet petitioned for a unionization vote, according to the NLRB’s docket.

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