Judge sides with Home Depot, upholds ban on BLM logos on workers' aprons

Administrative law judge says retailer's enforcement of uniform code was appropriate to ban BLM logo and wasn't an infringement of labor rights.

Updated: June 11, 2022 - 11:44pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A federal administrative law judge has upheld Home Depot's ban on workers placing Black Live Matters logos on their work aprons, saying it was an appropriate enforcement of the company's uniform code and not an infringement of labor rights.

Judge Paul Bogas overruled the National Labor Relations Board argument that the retailer's ban on BLM imagery on work gear infringed worker's political and labor rights.

Bogas said BLM messaging and imagery "originated, and is primarily used, to address the unjustified killings of Black individuals by law enforcement and vigilantes" and as such had little to do with the work conditions or labor rights at Home Depot protected as "concerted" labor activity.

"For the reasons previously discussed with respect to the Respondent’s nationwide interpretation of the dress code prohibition, BLM messaging is not inherently concerted," the judge wrote Friday. "Nor does it have an objective, and sufficiently direct, relationship to terms and conditions of employment to fall within the mutual aid and protection clause."

You can read the full ruling here.

The NRLB had argued last year that Home Depot "selectively and disparately" enforced its dress code to ban the BLM logos.

"The NLRA protects employees’ rights to raise these issues with the goal of improving their working conditions," the agency said. "It is this important right we seek to protect in this case."