US Constitution backs ban on ‘Black Lives Matter’ masks, grocery chain claims – Action News Now

Whole Foods faces legal action after restricting employees from wearing BLM-themed masks

Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market (WFM) has hit back at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), insisting it has the constitutional right to prohibit employees from wearing clothing with slogans and logos unrelated to the company.

In early December, the NLRB filed a formal complaint against the Amazon subsidiary over its dress code, which included a ban on workers from wearing BLM-themed masks in the workplace. Whole Foods insists that anyone trying to push it to change the rules and allow “Political Message” would constitute a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In legal filings dated Dec. 17 obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Whole Foods argued that NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo “Illegal Infringement and/or Dilution of WFM’s Protected Trademarks” through her legal action. A WFM representative went on to accuse Biden-appointed officials of trying to “force” speech.

According to the statement, “By singling out the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’ the General Counsel disallows and requires WFM to support certain expressions of political speech in its retail grocery stores.”

A spokesperson for Whole Foods clarified in an interview with the New York Post that the ban is not specific to the BLM movement, but to any visible slogan or logo other than those associated with the company.

The case is expected to go to court in March.

U.S. labor authorities claimed the grocery store was wrong because it prevented several employees from displaying BLM apparel because, in the NLRB’s view, wearing them was fully consistent with workers’ right to participate. “An event for their mutual aid and protection.”

However, Whole Foods disputed the allegations, saying the BLM information was “Objectively believed to be related to workplace issues or improved workplace conditions at WFM Retail Grocery.”

This isn’t the first time the grocery chain has faced legal challenges over its reluctance to let employees wear BLM-themed clothing at work. Last February, a judge sided with WFM after 27 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit claiming that Whole Foods was only selectively enforcing its dress code.

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