American grocer Whole Foods Markets has come under fire north of the border over its enforcement of a dress code that prevents employees from wearing items that support a cause that is not company-related. The company’s dress code prohibits employees in Canada from wearing a poppy, a symbol of remembrance, on their uniform.
Whole Foods made international headlines in July after enforcing its dress code to stop employees from wearing shirts or other clothing items that displayed messages in support of Black Lives Matter. Now, the company is standing by its policy as it relates to the wearing of poppies in any of its 14 locations across Canada.
— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) November 6, 2020
“I was basically told … if they allowed this one particular cause, then it would open up the door so that they would have to allow or consider allowing other causes,” an anonymous employee told CBC. “I was in shock actually. I was appalled. I couldn’t believe it.”
Poppies have been distributed in Canada since 1921. The Royal Canadian Legion continues to distribute the symbol of remembrance today, with proceeds from sales going to help Canadians in need.
Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, says it is supporting the cause by donating $8,000 to the Legion’s poppy campaign in 2020.
Remembrance Day takes place on November 11, 2020.