Starbucks Changes Worker Policy After an Uproar

It will not only allow Black Lives Matter clothing, it's making a shirt of its own
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2020 12:11 PM CDT
Starbucks Changes Policy on Attire After an Uproar
A man looks at the broken windows in a downtown Pittsburgh Starbucks store on May 31, following a night of unrest and protests over the death of George Floyd.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Starbucks is changing course after uproar over a policy blocking baristas from sporting items in support of Black Lives Matter. After claiming the items might be misconstrued by people looking to "amplify divisiveness," the company said Friday that it would not only permit employees to wear attire and accessories supporting the movement but would make 250,000 of its own shirts to be shared with workers in the US and Canada, per CNBC. CNN has an image of the shirt design, which includes the words "Black Lives Matter," "no justice, no peace," and "time for change."

Starbucks came under fire after BuzzFeed reported on its enforcement of a dress code prohibiting clothing or accessories that promote any "sort of political, religious, or personal issue." Some employees couldn't understand the company's stance since it allows employees to wear items in support of LGBTQ rights and even hands out its own shirts for Pride Month in June. In a Friday statement, Starbucks said it was "critical" to support Black Lives Matter. It also said employees would be permitted to wear a t-shirt or pin in support of the movement until its shirts are distributed. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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