Whole Foods Tells 1st Circ. Mask Bias Theory Is Paper-Thin

Law360 (June 7, 2021, 9:12 PM EDT) -- Whole Foods Markets Inc. urged the First Circuit on Monday to reject "exceptionally weak" claims that it violated the civil rights of employees by disciplining them for wearing Black Lives Matter face masks to support their Black co-workers.

The grocer fought workers' attempts to revive their putative class action by having the appeals court adopt for the first time an "associational discrimination" theory under federal workplace anti-discrimination law enshrined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

"This court has not adopted an associational discrimination theory as a basis for Title VII liability, and no precedent warrants the extension of such...

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