Several labor organizations, along with racial and social justice organizations, conducted a mass walkout on July 20, 2020 to protest racial inequality and working conditions in the United States. Thousands of workers in more than 200 cities walked off the job on a full-day strike while others who were unable to strike for a full day walked out about for eight minutes. According to the Strike for Black Lives website, the purpose of the strike was to demand higher wages, better jobs, the right to unionize, and healthcare for all. These organizations specifically call for corporations to address racism in the workplace, raise wages, provide healthcare, and provide ample personal protective equipment (PPE), among other things.
These types of mass walkouts raise several considerations for employers as they attempt to balance their support for racial and social justice with their tolerance of competing views and their need to maintain operations. While some employers may allow their employees to participate with little to no disruption to their operations, others, such as hospitals, will have to find ways to continue to run their operations (perhaps by hiring temporary workers) if they find themselves with reduced staff. Other employers may be forced to temporarily close or take other measures to manage the sudden loss of available employees. Continue Reading