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Monday, June 15, 2020

Publix won't let employees wear Black Lives Matter face masks

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 10:17 AM

click to enlarge SCREENSHOT VIA TWITTER/WE MATTER MEDIA
  • Screenshot via Twitter/We Matter Media

Publix employees have been required to wear a mask since April 20, until the end of the national emergency, but the supermarket chain is apparently not happy about some employees' choice of face covering.

Some associates have been asked to remove or reverse masks reading "Black Lives Matter," and customers have taken to Twitter to question the company's support for recent protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.

A Lehigh Acres resident, Quinton Desamours, went to work on June 6 with a surgical mask that had "BLM" written on it. He was told by his manager that he was endangering himself and all other workers and could not work with the mask, reported the News-Press. Desamours left work and called later to inform Publix that he was quitting.

Desamours was not the only one to come into work wearing a Black Lives Matter mask. An image surfaced on June 7 of a worker at a Publix in Birmingham, Alabama, who was told that she had to flip her black Black Lives Matter mask over to continue her shift. PublixHelps tweeted back,  "Our focus remains on ensuring a welcoming work and shopping environment for all associates and customers."

Another response to this incident reads, "Publix is making a $1 million contribution to the Urban League to further our long-standing commitment of their civil rights efforts."

SCREENSHOT VIA TWITTER/WE MATTER MEDIA
  • Screenshot via Twitter/We Matter Media

According to the PublixHelps Twitter account, Publix's uniform policy does not permit non-Publix messaging on any worn item. Publix has allowed employees to wear medical, dust and cloth masks until their uniform face covering arrives, but this does not allow for masks with messages that are non-Publix related.

After the recent protests, Publix CEO Todd Jones wrote a letter to all associates that he is "saddened and unsettled by any racial injustice or events" and that, "at Publix, we reject racism and discrimination of any kind."

Jones wrote, "We benefit from being an inclusive company made up of individuals who look and think differently."

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