In-N-Out Burger bans masks for employees across 5 states

In-n-out burger is courting controversy with it’s new policy, barring employees from wearing masks in five states without a doctor’s note.  

The change in policy, which was first made public earlier this month via a leaked memo posted on Twitter, is said to be one with customer service in mind.  In part, the memo states: “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 new order goes into effect on August 14th in Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and Utah. Notably, employees in California and Oregon will still be able to wear a mask at their own discretion, in hopes of preventing the spread of Covid-19.   

Furthermore, employees who provide documentation allowing for a mask, from a medical professional, will be required to wear an N-95 provided by the company. 

Reactions via Twitter were swift, with infectious disease expert, Judy Stone, commenting that the new “anti-mask policy” goes against the CDC’s guidelines and puts employees at risk.  

The leaked company wide memo is just the most recent dust-up in a years long tug of war between the famed burger franchise and state officials regarding covid 19 related protocol.  In October 2021, San Francisco officials ordered In-N-Out to shutter the doors of its establishment because of its continued violation of covid 19 protocols.  The company responded by shuttering all five of its neighboring locations, in what some saw as a protest against mask and vaccination measures.  In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, chief legal and business officer for In-N-Out, Arnie Wensinger, said, “As a Company, In-N-Out Burger strongly believes in the highest form of customer service and 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.  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.”


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