According to internal corporate documents that were leaked on social media, the In-N-Out burger chain will prohibit employees in five states from wearing masks unless they have a doctor’s note.
The fast food franchise emphasized “the importance of customer service and the ability to show our Associates’ smiles and other facial features while considering the health and well-being of all individuals” in the statement outlining new rules for employees in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.
All In-N-Out employees in those states must abide by the policy, which takes effect on August 14, with the exception of those who must wear masks or other protective equipment while doing their jobs, such as painters. If workers disobey, they may face disciplinary action, which includes termination.
There are regulations in effect in both California and Oregon that forbid businesses from prohibiting masks.
The business, which is based in California, and health professionals have previously argued over safety measures that were first implemented as COVID-19 deaths rose during the pandemic.
A number of In-N-Out restaurants in California were fined or temporarily closed in October 2021 as a result of the burger chain’s refusal to comply with COVID-19 immunization requirements.
The accuracy of the new mask regulations was confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday by a company customer service representative. Press inquiries were not immediately answered by the In-N-Out spokesperson.
Public health officials like infectious disease expert Dr. Judy Stone are opposing the new standards. “Needing a doctor’s note comes at a time and financial cost.
The majority of individuals lack access to or don’t have a primary care physician, according to Stone’s Forbes editorial from this week. And depending on how one sees masking as a request for accommodation, requiring documentation of a condition can be viewed as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 6 in 10 adults have a chronic illness, which raises their risk of developing severe COVID-19. Stone also cited these figures.
According to a different business letter that was leaked, new mask regulations for In-N-Out employees in California and Oregon will take effect on August 14. Employees in California and Oregon will still be free to opt to wear a mask in stores, in contrast to the other states.
The message states that the masks must be N-95 masks provided by the corporation and that employees who want to wear other masks must have “a valid medical note.
Both letters state that the corporation will keep reviewing accommodations for its rules and that policies are subject to local health regulations.