Publix is taking a page out of Starbucks’ books and they’re not allowing their employees to wear Black Lives Matter apparel.
Earlier this month, an employee at a Florida location, Quinton Desamours, revealed that his manager sent him home because he was wearing a BLM mask. “Today @Publix sent me, a publix employee home for having “BLM” written on my mask. The assistant store manager told me he doesn’t know if the company is “Pro or Con”. I will no longer be working for publix. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything! #blacklivesmatterFL ✊🏾”
The 18-year-old spoke to WBBH and says there isn’t a mask policy so the manager simply had a problem with the message. “Honestly, I was just speechless. He told me the company hasn’t issued a statement and that he doesn’t know if they’re pro or con on the issue, and that I am endangering myself and everyone who worked there. Many, many employees have different designs on their masks. There is an employee that has a comic strip on his mask. So, it seems like they just didn’t like the message I was trying to portray.”
A rep for the supermarket claimed employees aren’t allowed to wear non-Publix apparel. “At Publix, we reject racism and believe diversity makes our company—and our community—better. Our focus remains on ensuring a welcoming work and shopping environment for all associates and customers. Our uniform policy does not permit non-Publix messaging on clothing or accessories.” Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix, said in a statement sent to NBC News.
But Desamours already established that other employees sported designed masks.
Publix CEO Todd Jones announced that he’s donating $1 million to the National Urban League affiliates and acknowledged Desamours’ letter. “Today, it’s evident that our support and compassion are required on an even deeper level. At Publix, we reject racism and discrimination of any kind.”
Desamours tweeted on Tuesday that he plans to quit his job.