L.L. Bean Reached Out To Employees Affected By Immigration Ban

Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald/Getty.
Last month, then-President-elect Donald Trump encouraged his followers to "buy L.L. Bean" after the company was targeted by the #GrabYourWallet movement, following complaints that heiress Linda Bean made excessive donations to a Trump-backing super PAC. The Maine-based company very much tried to exclude itself from the conversation in the process. However, it seems that L.L. Bean is internally making moves to address concerns surrounding the new administration's executive orders — namely, the immigration ban. The company's CEO, Stephen Smith, sent out a memo encouraging employees personally affected by President Trump's executive order to come to him directly, and underscoring that the company will help in any way it can, per Politico.

"We are committed to help our affected employees in any way possible," the memo reportedly reads. It was apparently sent out to L.L. Bean employees on February 2, a day before a federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked President Trump's travel ban, as the Washington Post reported.

In the memo, Smith addresses L.L. Bean's unintentional embroilment with the Trump administration. "While we have gone to great pains over the past few weeks to distance ourselves from an unfortunate and unwanted political situation, there have been some more recent developments that have prompted me to share some thoughts and direction," he writes. Once it was flagged by #GrabYourWallet, the company had trouble distancing its intentionally apolitical brand from that of its heiress, whose personal contributions to super PACs supporting President Trump went way over the legal limit, per the Associated Press. L.L. Bean is still on #GrabYourWallet's list of brands to boycott.
Despite L.L. Bean's efforts to stay away from politics, Smith explains in his letter that "recent national policy changes, while dominating the headlines and sparking a wide-range of opinion, are also creating confusion and concern within our family of great employees." So, he and the company are extending support to those experiencing a direct impact of the immigration ban in their lives.

Smith isn't the only retail executive reaching out to those on his payroll that are feeling the impact of President Trump's executive orders: Nordstrom's co-presidents sent out a similar memo to employees at the end of January, reminding them of its founder's own origin story and of the company's commitment to "diversity, inclusion, respect, and kindness."
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