Starbucks Reportedly Bans Employees From Wearing Apparel in Support of Black Lives Matter

Jacquie Cadorette
June 11, 2020 - 3:53 pm

Starbucks has revealed that they are not allowing their employees to wear anything that promotes the Black Lives Matter movement in accordance with their rule to ban accessories that promote "political, religious, or personal" issues.

While Starbucks has tweeted in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, they have drawn the line at allowing their employees to promote any political movements publicly while they are working in stores.

According to an internal bulletin obtained by BuzzFeed News, employees are only permitted to wear buttons and accessories that promote Starbucks or Starbucks events, and this rule would not be changing in light of recent events.

In an interview, a Starbucks spokesperson stressed that while the company is committed to ending systemic racism, they were not prepared to lighten up the dress code in order "to create a safe and welcoming" environment for customers and staff.

"We respect all of our partners' opinions and beliefs, and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work while adhering to our dress code policy," the spokesperson continued.

In recent weeks, the company has pledged $1 million to organizations promoting racial equity and has partnered with Arizona State University to design anti-bias resources and training for employees.

Meanwhile, some employees feel that Starbucks' statements feel "performative" and "shallow." A worker in Colorado stated, "I don't think asking for and supporting those who want basic human rights is necessarily political."

Many employees also pointed out that the company has allowed employees to wear accessories supporting marriage equality and LGBTQ+ rights in the past.

Other employees have lauded Starbucks' decision to ban BLM gear, saying that in some ways, it represents an anti-police sentiment.

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