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Whole Foods BLM Mask Ban Beyond Reach of Workplace Race Bias Law

June 28, 2022, 8:57 PM

Whole Foods Market Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. workers lack federal race bias claims over discipline they received for wearing Black Lives Matter masks at work after being told company policy prohibited them from doing so, the First Circuit ruled Tuesday.

The class’ claims of direct and associational discrimination were “technically viable,” but were “wholly conclusory” and therefore had to be dismissed, US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said in an opinion by Judge Kermit V. Lipez. The workers failed to discount the “‘obvious alternative explanation’ that Whole Foods did not want to allow the mass expression of a ...