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NLRB Decision Finds Home Depot USA, Inc. Constructively Discharged Minnesota Employee Who Refused To Remove A BLM Insignia From His Store Apron   

While Florida’s court battle over DEI may not be over, oddly enough, workers opposed to mandatory DEI training may have better luck going to the National Labor Relations Board.  For starters, consider that the Board’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo has declared in a memo that federal labor law protects the right of employees to refrain from attending “captive audience and other mandatory meetings” pertaining to so-called “concerted activities.”  Consider further that the Board has blurred the lines between workplace issues and issues of race, gender, and other topics typically associated with DEI.  Just last month the NLRB issued a decision against Home Depot USA, Inc., finding the retailer committed an Unfair Labor Practice by refusing to allow an employee to return to work unless he removed a BLM insignia from his store-issued apron.  The Board reasoned that the employee’s conduct in support of Black Lives Matter was protected as a “logical outgrowth” of concerted protests about racial discrimination in the workplace. Would the Board rule similarly if an employee protested against mandatory DEI training and refused to attend based on the position taken in the Florida Freedom Act; i.e. that the training itself promoted a form of racial discrimination?

This much seems clear – the debate and legal wranglings in multiple forums over these issues is not likely going away anytime soon. We continue to report on them as they impact the American workplace. 

Questions? Contact Jim by email or at (952)746-1700

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