Whole Foods Workers File Lawsuit After Allegedly Being Punished For Wearing Black Lives Matter Masks
Fourteen Whole Foods employees have filed a lawsuit against the corporation after allgedly being punished for wearing Black Lives Matter masks. Over 40 employees have been punished for wearing Black Lives Matter masks, the lawsuit stated. “Whole Foods’ selective enforcement of its dress code in disciplining employees who wear apparel expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement constitutes unlawful discrimination,” the lawsuit continued.
The 14 employees request that the grocery chain ban the dress policy that works against them. The suit further requests the employees get back pay for being sent home for wearing BLM paraphernalia.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, the workers’ lawyer, said, “We are asking that the court order Whole Foods to allow the employees to wear the Black Lives Matter masks and other apparel at work.”
— The Robust Opposition (@Lauren_Steiner) July 25, 2020
According to the lawsuit, Black Lives Matter masks have been worn by Black employees since the protests after George Floyd’s murder by police. The employees filing the lawsuit are based in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Berkeley, California; Bedford, New Hampshire; and Seattle, Washington.
Savannah Kinzer, a former worker, said she got fired for wearing a Black Lives Matter mask. The company refuted with a statement, “No team members have been terminated for wearing Black Lives Matter face masks or apparel. [She was fired] for not working her assigned shifts, reporting late for work multiple times in the past nine days and choosing to leave during her scheduled shifts.”
This will be day 4 of #WholeFoods asking us to leave for our Black Lives Matter masks. We know that this is what it means to “support the Black community.” We are not being political. We are trying to create “meaningful change.” Sign the petition. https://t.co/mQMwhMNRK7 pic.twitter.com/ej2or7ulJf
— Whole Foods BLM (@WFBLM) June 27, 2020
Whole Foods has a mission statement on their website which states that “Racism has no place here,” but if the allegations against the company are true, their actions towards workers show otherwise. The business also fired a worker back in June for speaking up against giving police officers free food.
We are eager to see how this situation will unfold. If the allegations by the employees are true, we hope that they will receive justice in the case.