At Tesla, union swag is in. The present Tesla dress code guideline was declared to be illegal by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In particular, the rule that restricted staff attire to black t-shirts from Tesla or other pre-approved brands. Due to this ban, anybody attempting to organize or demonstrate union sympathy was hindered from wearing union swag.
Employees were allegedly informed they couldn’t wear shirts with the United Auto Workers insignia when Tesla’s policy went into force in 2017. Tesla made an effort to defend its clothing code before the board, saying that its black shirts protect automobiles and that it must keep up “visual control” of its staff. This was denied by the NLRB.
According to NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran, “with today’s judgment, the Board underscores that any effort to prohibit the wearing of union attire or insignia is presumptively unconstitutional.” Employers are still permitted to impose small limitations, such as the size and placement of the union emblem, under certain conditions.
A well-known instance of a “special situation” categorization is how Wal-Mart claimed that staff members who interact with customers required to dress professionally. While wearing a red shirt with the UAW insignia, which is the traditional hue for union solidarity, would be challenging for union members at Tesla, the company cannot prevent them from donning the emblem itself.
The clothing rule didn’t prevent workers at Tesla from organizing. A court found that the business has been undermining unionization efforts in 2019. Additionally, the NLRB had Musk erase 2018 tweets that were anti-union. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even extended an invitation to the UAW to conduct a union vote in March of this year. Less a plea for the firm to uphold workers’ rights and more of a Twitter dare to demonstrate that unionization is unnecessary at Tesla. “I now encourage UAW to have a union vote whenever it suits them. Tesla won’t take any action to stop them. As of that moment, Musk remarked.
Even though there hasn’t been a vote, the NLRB’s most recent decision should make it simpler for organizers to demonstrate their support.