Judge Dismisses Lawsuit From Whole Foods Employees That Were Banned From Wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ Masks
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought on by Whole Foods employees who were upset that the company would not let them wear Black Lives Matter masks to work.
The three employees claimed that they faced “discriminatory discipline” for wearing the masks, which was against company policy.
The ban was reportedly being enforced during the deadly riots in 2020 over the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
The employees, Haley Evans, Savannah Kinzer and Christopher Michno, claimed that the rules were in violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.
US District Judge Allison Burroughs disagreed.
According to a report from Reuters, Judge Burroughs, in a 28-page decision, found little evidence to refute Whole Foods’ ‘legitimate business explanations’ for strictly enforcing the dress code, and no significant evidence it targeted the plaintiffs by firing them in the summer of 2020.”
“The evidence demonstrates only that Whole Foods did not strenuously enforce the dress code policy until mid-2020, and that when it increased enforcement, it did so uniformly,” she added.
The company prohibits employees from wearing any visible slogans, logos, or ads — political or otherwise.
“This holding is not about the importance of the Black Lives Matter message, the value of plaintiffs’ advocacy in wearing the masks, the valor of their speaking out against what they perceived to be discrimination in their workplace, or the quality of Whole Foods’ decision-making,” Burroughs continued.