A judge ruled with Home Depot when they were accused of violating workers’ rights for not allowing them to wear Black Lives Matter imagery in stores while on the job.
The ruling came Friday, according to Fox News, where the judge heard the complaint that the store was interfering with workers’ rights by not allowing the messaging.
According to Bloomberg, the US National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel said the corporation was breaking federal law by prohibiting employees from wearing “Black Lives Matter” iconography on their aprons, but administrative law judge Paul Bogas disagreed.
Bogas said the Black Lives Matter labels did not possess “an objective, and sufficiently direct, relationship to terms and conditions of employment” and that it “originated, and is primarily used, to address the unjustified killings of Black individuals by law enforcement and vigilantes.”
“To the extent the message is being used for reasons beyond that, it operates as a political umbrella for societal concerns and relates to the workplace only in the sense that workplaces are part of society,” Bogas wrote.
Agency decisions can be appealed to the labor board in Washington, D.C., which is presently controlled by Democrats, and then to federal court.
Last year, the NLRB said that Home Depot applied its dress code “selectively and disparately” to target Black Lives Matter iconography.
“The NLRA protects employees’ rights to raise these issues with the goal of improving their working conditions,” NLRB regional director Jennifer Hadsall said in a statement at the time. “It is this important right we seek to protect in this case.”
“The Home Depot does not tolerate workplace harassment of any kind and takes all reports of discrimination or harassment seriously, as we did in this case,” Home Depot said last year. “We disagree with the characterization of this situation and look forward to sharing the facts during the NLRB’s process. Regardless of the outcome, we will continue to be fully committed to diversity and respect for all people.”