Arizona Coyotes Accused of Spying, Not Properly Paying Employees

Arizona Coyotes Accused of Spying, Not Properly Paying Employees

The National Labor Relations Board launched two investigations into the Arizona Coyotes during the past 13 months, probing allegations that the National Hockey League team spied on staff, engaged in union busting and fired two employees who raised concerns about pay, federal records say.

The financially struggling franchise reached a settlement earlier this year in one labor case filed by its payroll administrator.  

The employee had alleged the violations occurred during most of 2016, when the Coyotes created an impression that employees were under surveillance, threatened staff if they engaged in union organizing, caused employees to sign overly broad and discriminatory severance agreements and fired the employee after she complained the Coyotes failed to properly pay staff, according to NLRB records.

The charges were withdrawn in February, after the employee and the Coyotes reached an undisclosed settlement. The team admitted no wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes face a Jan. 9 hearing before an NLRB administrative-law judge on another investigation.

In that case, a former ticket salesman alleges the Coyotes interfered with employees' rights to unionize. James Whitener claims the Coyotes fired him for engaging in protected labor activities, and the team asked employees to sign separation agreements that were "overly broad and unlawful."

The Coyotes have denied all of the allegations.

"We have worked hard to create an excellent workplace culture for more than 100 employees," said Ahron Cohen, the team's general counsel and chief operating officer. "We are proud of that culture, which is based on respect and fair treatment for all employees. Any allegations to the contrary are not true."

 

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