Tesla’s existing dress code guideline is illegal says NLRB

Tesla is sporting union gear. Tesla’s existing dress code guideline, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), is illegal. Specifically, the section where staff could only wear Tesla or other pre-approved black tee shirts. This policy prohibited the use of union swag, which hampered anyone attempting to organize or demonstrate union sympathy.

Tesla’s ban went into force in 2017, and employees were reportedly instructed not to wear shirts with the United Auto Workers logo. Tesla attempted to justify its dress rules to the board by arguing that its black shirts reduce car damage and that it required “visible supervision” of its personnel. This was rejected by the NLRB.

“With today’s decision, the Board underscores that any attempt to restrict the wearing of union attire or insignia is presumptively unlawful,” stated National Labor Relations Board Chairman Lauren McFerran. Special conditions still exist, allowing employers to impose slight limits on the size and location of the union emblem.

The dress rule did not prevent Tesla employees from organizing. A judge decided in 2019 that the corporation had been obstructing unionization efforts. Musk was also ordered by the NLRB to erase anti-union tweets from 2018. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even invited the UAW to a union vote in March of this year. That was less of a request to safeguard labor rights at the company and more of a Twitter dare to prove that unionization isn’t necessary at Tesla. “I hereby encourage the UAW to hold a union vote at their convenience.” Tesla is powerless to stop them.” At the time, Musk stated.

While no vote has taken place, organizers should have an easier time displaying unity as a result of the NLRB’s recent decision.

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