Yet another corporation is showing how they truly feel in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. This week, Publix has taken a stand against employees wearing face masks that express support for Black Lives Matter.
According to reports from the Fort Myers News-Press, 18-year-old Quinton Desamours quit his job at Publix in Lehigh Acres, Florida, after an assistant manager told him that his surgical mask with “BLM” written on it wasn’t appropriate work attire.
“He told me that I was endangering myself and everybody else who worked there,” Quinton explained. “Then he said he couldn’t have me out on the floor with that mask on.”
Before experiencing that incident in the workplace, Desamours said he attended a protest against police brutality in Fort Myers. “I personally believe that, in order for there to be change in this world, everyone needs to be on board,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “If people see the message out in public more often, they can become more aware.”
Publix CEO Todd Jones revealed earlier in June that the company would donate $1 million to National Urban League affiliates.
“Like you, I’m saddened and unsettled by racial injustice or events that divide our country,” he said in a statement. “Now, more than ever, is the time for us to listen with open hearts and to lead with empathy—toward each other, toward our customers and toward our communities. At Publix, we reject racism and discrimination of any kind.”
Now, Publix is going through the same PR disaster Starbucks did last week, explaining why employees can’t express their support on the job. Publix spokesperson Maria Brous told the Tampa Bay Times that employees can only wear company approved face coverings at work, saying, “Our uniform policy does not permit non-Publix messaging on clothing or accessories.”