Meijer employee says she was forced to remove Black Lives Matter mask at work

click to enlarge Meijer employee says she was forced to remove Black Lives Matter mask at work
Eric Glenn /

A Meijer employee in South Haven said her boss ordered her to remove a Black Lives Matter face mask after a customer complained about it.

Tamika Sullivan said she was wearing a mask bearing the letters “BLM” for less than an hour into her shift on June 19 when management said the face covering violated a store policy that prohibits political attire.

“I started crying and I broke down because I really felt like my rights were getting taken away from me,” she told WWMT-TV. “They told me that it can’t be political, but it’s not actually political. It’s three letters. And because of one customer complaint?”

Given the option of taking off the mask or wearing it inside out, Sullivan decide to go home instead.

“Meijer has specific guidelines for team member uniforms, which include face coverings,” Frank Guglielmi, senior director for Meijer’s corporate communications, said in a statement. “We provide all our team members with face masks and if they choose to use their own mask, they need to adhere to our guidelines for neutrality.”

In June, Starbucks reversed its policy that had prohibited Black Lives Matter attire after receiving criticism and threats of a boycott.

Last week, the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency, said federal employees are permitted to wear Black Lives Matter attire in the workplace because the phrase did not amount to “inherently political activity.”

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.