Home Depot Is Ordered to Reinstate Worker Who Quit Over ‘BLM’ Logo

Home Depot must reinstate a worker who quit after they refused to remove a slogan supporting the Black Lives Matter movement from their apron, the National Labor Relations Board announced on Wednesday after it found that the worker’s actions were protected by federal law.

The ruling by the National Labor Relations Board held that Home Depot violated federal law in 2021 when it told the worker that they must quit or remove the letters “BLM,” an acronym for Black Lives Matter, that they had drawn by hand onto their apron.

The case is one of several that centered on the issue of civil rights apparel in the workplace after the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020, an episode that galvanized many workers across the country to back the Black Lives Matter movement by showing support on their work uniforms or face masks.

The National Labor Relations Board said in its ruling that Antonio Morales Jr., who worked at a Home Depot store in the Minneapolis area, was protected by the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees the legal right of workers to take part in “concerted activities” for “mutual aid or protection.”

In its ruling, the federal agency said that the worker’s refusal to remove the “BLM” marking from their uniform was considered to be “concerted” and “for mutual aid or protection” because of earlier protests by workers at the store about racial discrimination.

Lauren McFerran, the labor board’s chairman, said in a statement on Wednesday that “it is well-established that workers have the right to join together to improve their working conditions — including by protesting racial discrimination in the workplace.”

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