Whole Foods Says Its First Amendment Rights Will Be Violated If It’s Forced to Allow Employees to Wear Black Lives Matter Insignia
Mary Hanbury, Insider, January 10, 2022
Whole Foods claimed in a court filing that the US was attempting to violate its constitutional rights by forcing it to allow its employees to wear Black Lives Matter insignia on the job.
Lawyers for the Amazon-owned grocery chain made the claim in a December 17 filing responding to the National Labor Relations Board’s claims that Whole Foods illegally barred employees from wearing Black Lives Matter masks at work.
In the filing, seen by Insider, Whole Foods accused the NLRB’s general counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, of attempting to violate the company’s First Amendment rights by trying to “compel” speech.
“By singling out the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ the General Counsel is impermissibly favoring, and requiring that WFM favor, certain expressions of political speech over others in its retail grocery stores,” the filing said, referring to Whole Foods Market.
The filing was in response to a complaint the NLRB made in early December.
In July 2020, a group of employees sued Whole Foods, claiming the company forbade them from wearing Black Lives Matter masks at work and threatened them with termination if they did.