It is against Home Depot policy for employees to wear apparel that reflects political statements, company spokesman Stephen Holmes said.
Whether or not Lake has been punished for breaking company rules, Holmes told Business Insider, “The management team addressed it with her.”
“I’m not going to be specific other than to say that if any associate refuses to follow any of our policies, it can lead to termination,” he added.
The lifelong New Yorker said she was surprised when she awoke Wednesday morning to see a tsunami of calls and texts messages from friends and co-workers asking if she had noticed the firestorm her hat had created.
“Everyone kept asking me if I was on Facebook or Twitter, which I hadn’t been,” she said, “and then I saw how many people were sharing [the picture] and that it was going viral.
“I was honestly shocked — I didn’t expect any of this to happen,” Lake added.
Interestingly, Republican presidential candidate and New York real estate mogul Donald Trump won the April 19 primary contest in a landslide, securing over 80% support in Staten Island.
For its part, Home Depot didn’t waste time responding to critics on Twitter and Facebook. The Atlanta Georgia-based home improvement retailer called Lake’s hat inappropriate.