The Home Depot punished workers with the Black Lives Matter logo, Labor Relations Commission says | Nyt

According to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board, The Home Depot tried to resign workers and pay attention to racial harassment after wearing an apron with a slogan in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. There was a risk of punishing other employees. Related committees.

Federal agencies have accused the company of discriminating against employees working at the Home Depot store in Minneapolis for wearing the slogan and talking to other employees and managers in the store about racial harassment.

“The issue of racial harassment has a direct impact on the working conditions of our employees,” said Jennifer Hassal, regional director of NLRB’s Minneapolis office, who filed the complaint.

The National Labor Relations Act “protects the rights of employees to raise these issues with the aim of improving working conditions,” he said in a statement of the board. “In this case, it is this important right that we are trying to protect.”

The Home Depot said the NLRB complaint “misrepresented the relevant facts,” and the company “is committed to the diversity and respect of all.”

“The Home Depot does not tolerate any kind of workplace harassment and, as in this case, takes all reports of discrimination and harassment seriously,” the company’s spokeswoman Sarah Gorman said in an email. increase. “We disagree with the characterization of this situation and look forward to sharing the facts during the NLRB process.”

After the May 2020 killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, companies such as Nike, Twitter, and Citigroup have teamed up with the Black Lives Matter movement. The public support show was a shift from the more cautious attitude many companies (fearing to take a political position that could offend their customers) had taken in the past.

However, other companies have been accused of having or penalizing employees for dress codes that prohibit them from displaying unauthorized logos or buttons. Whole Foods was sued by an employee who said he was punished for wearing apparel in support of Black Lives Matter.

In June 2020, The Home Depot issued a statement condemning the deaths of Floyd and “other unarmed black men and women in our country.”

“We cannot ignore that their death is part of a pattern of racism, reflecting the harsh reality that as a nation we are too far to fulfill our promise of equal justice to all. “We are,” said Craig Menear, CEO of The Home Depot. time.

The Home Depot has recently sought to distance itself from its political position. In 2019, after co-founder Bernie Marcus expressed his support for President Donald Trump, a spokesperson pointed out that Marcus had retired, saying, “As a standard practice, the company supports the presidential candidate. I haven’t. “

According to Hadsall’s complaint, the Home Depot dress code prohibits employees from displaying “causes or political messages unrelated to workplace problems” on their aprons and workwear. According to the NLRB, the dress code is not illegal.

However, the agency said it violated the National Labor Relations Act by enforcing a dress code on employees wearing the Black Lives Matter logo in an attempt to pay attention to racism and harassment in stores. rice field.

The employee’s name was edited and the complaint did not provide details about the discrimination he described.

Employees began putting the Black Lives Matter logo on their aprons last August and started talking to colleagues and managers about “problems such as ongoing discrimination and harassment.”

Sometime this year, the company told employees that they had to stop wearing the logo or leave. He refused and was stopped. According to complaints, the company has since repeated requests to stop or stop wearing the logo.

In February, the company said it threatened that if employees “engaged in protected collaborative activities regarding racial harassment,” it would “have unspecified consequences.”

According to the complaint, the threat was made during a meeting in the store’s office or through a video call.

NLRB’s Minneapolis field office, which reports to the Labor Relations Commission’s legal counsel, will file a complaint in October in front of an administrative law judge if the Home Depot does not settle with its employees.

If the judge decides in favor of the worker, the Home Depot may appeal to the Legal Advisory Office and the entire board of directors separate from the judge’s case. If the entire board of directors decides against the Home Depot, the company may seek the Court of Appeals to hear the case.

The Home Depot punished workers with the Black Lives Matter logo, Labor Relations Commission says | Nyt

Source link The Home Depot punished workers with the Black Lives Matter logo, Labor Relations Commission says | Nyt

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