By A.R. Shaw
Costco is facing backlash after several employees were reportedly punished for wearing Black Lives Matter face masks.
The incidents occurred at Costco warehouses or stores in Louisville, Delaware, Chicago and New Jersey, when several employees who wore Black Lives Matter face masks were asked to either change their mask or go home, according to Courier-Journal.
The managers reportedly told the workers that the masks violated the company’s anti-harassment policy, which prohibits “all forms of harassment based upon on race, color, national origin…political ideology, and expression.”
According to Buzzfeed, employees were allowed to wear logos of their favorite sports teams, movie characters, gay pride symbols, and blue American flags in support of the police. However, Costco, which mandates all employees to wear masks while working, reportedly only punished employees who wore Black Lives Matter masks.
By reprimanding the employees who wore the Black Lives Matter masks, it goes against the statement given to employees following the death of George Floyd.
Costco CEO, Craig Jelinek, wrote that the company is “committed to taking care of our employees, building a diverse workforce, and treating each other in a fair, honest, respectful, and inclusive way.”
After meeting with Black employees on July 10, Jelinek reportedly told them that if he permitted Black Lives Matter–related attire at the workplace, he would also have to allow “All Lives Matter” symbols as well.
Costco has yet to comment on the matter, but the company continues to catch heat on social media.
These big companies that aren’t allowing their employees to rep Black Lives Matter (Costco, bed bath, Starbucks, etc) … do they not have a PR department? How do they not forsee the general public cancelling them for taking this stance
— Brown Adam (@ChrisCanovas) July 11, 2020
— NaughtyDredLox 🏳️🌈🎯🎱🇬🇭 (@naughtydred) July 13, 2020
@Costco you’re on the wrong side of Black Lives Matter https://t.co/2AfevfwCqT sad you say Political because if you believe that, you’re saying you agree with the police Brutality and killing of unarmed black people.This black person will keep her green $.
— Telia frazier (@telia_frazier) July 13, 2020
— Manda Panda (@shegottapanda) July 13, 2020