In-N-Out Burger, the popular California-based burger chain, is reportedly barring employees in certain states from wearing face masks without explicit medical direction.
Company leadership issued new employee policies last week barring workers in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah from wearing face masks at work unless they have a doctor's note.
The policy is meant to prioritize In-N-Out Burger's "exceptional customer service."
"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," the company told employees in a message. "We believe this policy will also help to promote clear and effective communication both with our Customers and among our Associates."
Employees in California and Oregon, meanwhile, can still wear masks but are limited to company-provided N-95 masks in the absence of a doctor's note, the company told employees.
Any employee who violates the policy will be subject to disciplinary measures up to termination. The policy change takes effect on Aug. 14.
In-N-Out Burger is known for taking bold stances.
The company, which prints Bible verses on its products, made headlines in 2021 for refusing to enforce San Francisco's COVID-19 vaccine policy that required businesses to verify the vaccine status of customers.
The company said at the time:
We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government. It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our 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.
We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business. This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.
TheBlaze reached out to In-N-Out Burger for comment, but the company did not return a message.
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