In-N-Out Burger is banning employees from wearing masks so customers can see them smile in several states – a move celebrated by conservatives and triggering liberals online.
Known for its customer service and fresh burgers and fries with cups and packages with Bible verses, the popular fast food chain is done with masks covering its employees’ faces.
The news comes after an internal email to chains in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah was leaked on Twitter. Stores in California and Oregon, which have laws preventing employers from banning masks, are exempt.
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“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 email reads.
The new policy, which will go into effect Aug. 14, states “no masks shall be worn in the Store or Support facility unless an Associate has a valid medical note exempting him or her from this requirement.”
If an employee has a medical note, they are required to wear a “company-provided N-95 mask,” according to the memo, unless the employee’s doctor contradicts it.
Columbia University Irving Medical Center scientist Dr. Lucky Tran, who shared the memo on Twitter, called the policy “discriminatory” and “harmful,” encouraging customers to contact the company to complain.
But conservatives celebrated the new policy.
“Cheers to In-N-Out who has prohibited its employees from wearing masks,” Dr. Mary Bowden, a Houston ear, nose and throat specialist, tweeted.
“In-N-Out Burger is America’s best fast food company. They stand for strong values and don’t want their employees masked – which is dehumanizing!” Charlie Kirk tweeted. “Support In-N-Out Burger!”