In-N-Out’s use of buttons on employee uniforms to wish customers Merry Christmas was one of a few reasons a judge ruled that In-N-Out can’t stop employees from wearing buttons for a different reason — promoting “Fight for $15”.
The 309-unit chain requires workers to wear “Merry Christmas” buttons during the holidays, and another in April that solicits donations to the company’s foundation. Both of those buttons are “two to three times larger” than the “Fight for $15” button.
Administrative Law Judge Keltner Locke for the National Labor Relations Board ordered the company to stop enforcing a rule preventing workers from wearing buttons or insignia that relate to wages, hours, employment conditions or labor issues.
The N:RB has ruled in the past that under most circumstances, employers cannot force employees to not wear pins supporting employee causes including but not limited to wage increases, working conditions and/or unionization. To do so, the NLRB says that the employer is stifling the employer’s right to concerted protected activities.
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