According to the statement by Mr. Warnick, the company reasons that “wearing a mask literally adds a barrier to communication—much of which is nonverbal—and promotes a more distant and disconnected environment.”
Despite this, the leaked memo states that those who need masks for medical reasons are allowed to “wear a company-provided N95 mask.” Additionally, employees “who are required to wear masks or other protective gear as part of their job duties” are exempt, the memo states.
Failure to comply with the new standards could even lead to termination of employment in the most egregious of examples.
This new set of guidelines is set to go into effect on Aug. 14 in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.
Notably, two other states that In-N-Out operates in—California and Oregon—are excluded from the new mandate. In-N-Out workers in these states are still allowed to wear company-provided masks to work.
In-N-Out declined to provide further information on the policy to The Epoch Times.
The new policy was first leaked by likeminded Twitter user “luckytran,” igniting a media firestorm. In response to the news, many took to Twitter to express their disagreement with the policy.
In-N-Out’s new policy re-exposed the pandemic-era mask divides. Some have suggested that masks are “safe and effective” against COVID-19, while others have argued the polar opposite.
Others, like the CDC and Anthony Fauci, former chief medical advisor to the president of the United States, argued throughout the pandemic for the use of masks.
“The Pleasant Hill In-N-Out location received four citations in recent weeks and fines totaling $1,750, all for the same health order violation, before today’s action,” Contra Costa Environmental Health said in a statement.
A similar incident occurred in a San Francisco location, where vaccination status was not enforced.