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Whole Foods. Credit: Rick Kopstein/ ALM

A federal labor panel has refused to overturn an Obama-era ruling that said the Whole Foods employee handbook unlawfully imposed broad workplace restrictions against recording conversations and taking photos.

Whole Foods Market Group Inc., represented by the law firm Proskauer Rose, unsuccessfully challenged the board’s 2015 order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A federal appeals panel last year upheld the National Labor Relations Board order against Whole Foods, saying that certain prohibitions on workplace recording without management approval could “chill” workers’ labor rights.

The three-member board said in its order May 1 that the agency does not have power to “modify an order that has been enforced by a court of appeals.”

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