Plans are underway in a number of cities throughout the nation for workers to take part in a Strike for Black Lives on Monday, July 20. The initiative encompasses the efforts of Black Lives Matter, the Motion four Black Lives, and a union-organizing effort by the Service Workers Worldwide Union. Strike for Black Lives encourages staff to “stand up for Black Lives” by strolling off their jobs to march; and for many who can’t march, to take an “8:46 Pledge” in recognition of the demise of George Floyd. The 8:46 Pledge asks supporters to take Eight minutes and 46 seconds at midday on July 20 to both take a knee, stroll off the job, or observe a second of silence.
Challenged by the threats of COVID-19, financial uncertainty, and now hanging staff, employers needs to be ready. As a reminder, the Nationwide Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which governs each union and non-union workplaces, protects most non-public sector staff who interact in concerted, protected actions to object to working circumstances or phrases of employment. Alternatively, staff who miss work with no good purpose or for one’s personal private grievances could also be topic to firms’ common insurance policies. Regardless, it’s prudent for employers to proceed with warning in taking motion towards staff who be a part of the Strike for Black Lives. In case you have questions or doubts, seek the advice of with counsel.
In the meantime, the Strike for Black Lives and related occasions current alternatives for companies to bolster their commitments to range and inclusion past customary statements of assist. A current Harvard Enterprise Assessment article outlines suggestions for employers standing towards racism. Others recommend permitting day off on quick discover for last-minute marches and demonstrations. Exhibiting flexibility within the software of firm insurance policies displays a willingness to determine with staff’ considerations and reinforces a enterprise’s personal assist for racial justice.
Though the convergence of extraordinary occasions in 2020 presents challenges for employers, within the phrases of John Adams, “Each problem is a chance in disguise.”
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