Did you know that Canadians declared victory after Whole Foods reversed course with a policy that prohibited employees from wearing the Veterans Commemoration symbol during an upcoming vacation? If not here’s the full details in the blog below!
According to the news that Amazon-owned grocer’s dress code sparked controversy nationwide in Canada by banning employees from wearing poppies on Memorial Day. The holiday marks the end of the First World War and the service of the dead from the Canadian Army, similar to Veterans Day in the United States.
Now, a Whole Foods employee in Ottawa said that wearing the red flower indicates support for a cause, according to a store superintendent, which the company’s updated uniform policies try to prevent.
The official statement said that “Given what has been learned today, we welcome team members to wear the poppy pin in honor of Memorial Day,” a company spokesperson said in an email to Business Insider, adding that the policy aims to create consistency and ensure operational safety across all of our stores” and was not specifically targeted to anyone.
The symbolic poppy is not limited to Canada: it can be found in the British Commonwealth countries that participated in World War I. It is often accompanied by the phrase “lest we forget”, in memory of the Great War that raged in Europe from 1914-1918.
Whole Foods has similar policies in its dress code for political messaging, although workers said the chain is often inconsistent in its implementation of policies. Back on July, 14 Whole Foods employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the grocer, alleging discrimination and retaliation for wearing Black Lives Matter masks. While workers from three states in the United States claim Whole Foods has sent employees home without pay, with more threats of dismissal if they continue to wear masks.
The lawsuit stated that Whole Foods did not enforce the policy when workers wore LGBTQ + pride flags to work. The series also promoted the phrase “there is no place for racism here” on its website and banners.
While it is reported that the company did change the dress code quite recently and the US stores that sought to do away with the “comfortable dress code” that was permitted in the past. The employees said that is quite confusing but that the language of the new policy was confusing with terms such as “simple patterns” used and restricted, especially as workers would be restricted in the designs that the face masks could feature. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on it!