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In-N-Out Burger to Ban Masks for Employees and People Are Mad

They apparently block “clear and effective communication."

Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, masking has been a controversial topic. Many companies required their employees to mask up or risk losing their job, which many found to be unconstitutional. However, this week In-N-Out announced a new policy that has people equally miffed: They are banning employees in five states from wearing masks. If they go ahead and do it anyway, they will get fired. 

A Leaked Memo Reveals the New No-Masks Policy


According to a leaked memo the burger company is banning employees in five states from wearing masks to "promote clear and effective communication" and showcase "our Associates' smiles," they wrote. 

The Policy Goes Into Effect August 14


The policy, which goes into effect on August 14, will apply the rule to its operations in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The only caveat is if a worker can produce a doctor's note. Anyone who violates the rule will face disciplinary action leading "up to and including termination."

In Two Other States, Employees Can Only Wear Store-Provided N95 Masks


According to a separate memo sent out to workers in Oregon and California, employees in those states will allow only store-provided N95 masks on the job. "We believe this policy will also help to promote clear and effective communication both with our customers and among our associates," the memo said.

Employees Are Fighting Back with a Petition


Employees are fighting back via a petition, stating that In-N-Out's guidelines "endangers employees' lives and discriminates against disabled and immunocompromised individuals." As of Thursday, it had almost 2,000 signatures, just shy of the 2,500 goal.  

They Say the Policy "Endangers Employees' Lives"


"We, the undersigned members of the Long Covid, medically vulnerable community, and COVID-informed, are deeply concerned about In-N-Out Burger's policy barring employees from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) without a medical note," it reads. "This policy endangers employees' lives and discriminates against disabled and immunocompromised individuals. We demand an immediate reversal of this policy to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and customers."

They Are Also Boycotting the Brand Until the Policy Is Reversed


"Those who sign pledge to boycott In-N-Out Burger until this policy is reversed.  In-N-Out must act urgently to protect workers' rights and prioritize health and safety," it adds. 

They Are Urging That the Brand Create a "Safe Environment"


"With no cure for Long Covid, masking and COVID-19 safety are crucial workers' rights concerns. Businesses must not jeopardize employees' lives. We implore In-N-Out to reconsider and prioritize employee and customer health. Let us create an inclusive, safe environment where health and livelihood are not in conflict," they concluded.


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