EV maker Tesla has been handed a defeat by the National Labor Relations Board in a case over its dress code.
The board has ruled that Tesla’s policy of requiring workers to wear a plain black t-shirt or one bearing a Tesla logo is “unlawful.”
The NLRB cited the policy as a way to prohibit employees from wearing clothing which bears a union insignia, a practice they say employers are not allowed to interfere with.
The NLRB says Tesla failed to prove “special circumstances that make the rule necessary to maintain production or discipline”
The ruling means Tesla workers are now free to don union t-shirts or buttons while on the job, with the board calling it “protected communication.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of unions in the past.
In 2018, a judge ruled he must remove a Tweet where he threatened workers could lose stock options if they unionized.
The judge declared the Tweet to be an illegal action against workers’ rights to unionize.