- Workers at chains including Whataburger, Ralphs, and Whole Foods are fighting for their right to wear Black Lives Matter masks and other gear on the job.
- Employers have the right to create dress codes that prevent workers from wearing clothing with any sort of messaging, according to employment and discrimination attorney Wendy Greene.
- However, if these policies are not regularly enforced, employers could be subject to discrimination claims.
- “Even though generally, employers are within their legal rights to bar employees from wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ masks and shirts, employers should shift the focus from whether I can legally do so to should I do so?” Greene said.
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Workers are fighting for their right to wear Black Lives Matter gear on the job. But, can they win in court?
Last week, Ma’Kiya Congious filed a complaint with Texas officials against Whataburger, saying the burger chain pushed her out after she wore a Black Lives Matter mask to work. Congious’ attorney says she plans to file a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the burger chain.
Labor union United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 also filed an unfair labor charge against Kroger-owned supermarket chains QFC and Ralphs in September, saying Seattle-area employees were told to remove Black Lives Matter buttons.
Meanwhile, back in July, Whole Foods workers filed a class action suit against the grocery chain, saying they were prevented from wearing Black Lives Matter masks on the job. The lawsuit now involves 28 Whole Foods and Amazon employees in nine states, some of whom say they were sent home or threatened with termination for wearing BLM gear.