Washington, DC – A U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ruled that a complaint accusing Home Depot of violating employees’ rights by not letting them wear Black Lives Matter messages at work should be dismissed.
The complaint was originally filed by the NLRB’s general counsel, which alleged last year that Home Depot violated federal labor law by not allowing its workers to display Black Lives Matter wording and imaging while on the clock, Bloomberg reported.
The complaint further accused the company of “selectively and disparately” enforcing its dress code in an effort to specifically target Black Lives Matter messages, according to FOX News.
“The [National Labor Relations Act] protects employees’ rights to raise these issues with the goal of improving their working conditions,” NLRB Regional Director Jennifer Hadsall said in a statement shortly after the complaint was filed, according to FOX News. “It is this important right we seek to protect in this case.”
But NLRB Administrative Law Judge Paul Bogas disagreed with the board’s general counsel in a ruling on June 10, Bloomberg reported.
Bogas stated that the Black Lives Matter message, “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,” the judge wrote.
Bogas concluded that Black Lives Matter messaging does not have “an objective, and sufficiently direct, relationship to terms and conditions of employment,” FOX News reported.
The judge’s ruling can be appealed to the Democrat-led labor board and potentially forwarded to a federal court, according to the news outlet.
“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 in a statement in 2021.
“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.”