Cheeseburgers with a Smile: In-N-Out Burger Enforces No-Mask, All Smiles Policy for Employees

cheeseburgers with a smile in n out burger enforces no mask, all smiles policy for employees

cheeseburgers with a smile in n out burger enforces no mask, all smiles policy for employees

Employees of a popular fast food chain In-N-Out Burger are banned from wearing masks at the company’s 41 Texas restaurants and at its outlets in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. Failing to comply would have workers facing disciplinary action. 

In-N-Out Burger wants to help promote a clear and effective communication between employees and customers. An official memo stated “We are introducing new mask guidelines that emphasize 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.” 

Employees who have a medical note will be allowed to wear face masks or coverings. “If employees want to continue wearing a mask, they must provide a medical note for a specific medical condition, or health concern that requires them to wear a mask to their manager, or In-N-Out’s human resources department. Approved employees must wear a company-provided N-95 mask.” 

The memo further stated that the employee’s doctor should clearly state the reason for the exemption and include the estimated duration if applicable. This policy comes into effect on 14 August. However, this rule doesn’t apply to employees in California or Oregon because companies are prohibited from banning workers masking. 

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Arnie Wensinger, the company’s legal officer, had said in 2021 that In-N-Out Burger strongly believes in the highest form of customer service. “To us that means serving all customers who visit us and making all customers feel welcome. We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government.” Wensinger said it is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force any restaurant associates to segregate customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason.” 

But In-N-Out’s latest policy has received backlash. Dr Judy Stone, an infectious disease expert, said the restaurant’s policy violates COVID-19 recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and endangers employees. A Twitter user called In-N-Out Burger’s new rule a boundary violation. “I think only a crushing and devastating lawsuit will satisfy the injustice and hostility toward life.” 

Another said he doesn’t need to see a food service workers’ smile. “I would prefer to know that their employer values them enough to allow them to take whatever safety precautions they deem appropriate.”

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Wiz writer is a regular contributor to the workers' rights. Blogger, writer, strategist, and Passionate about making a dent in the digital universe.

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